Sox Smack Everett With Fine

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An offseason peace summit between Boston Red Sox manager Jimy Williams and Carl Everett didn't change the defiant center fielder's ways. The team is hoping a fine and a suspension will.

The Red Sox fined Everett $97,222 and suspended him for Thursday's game with the Minnesota Twins after he missed the bus to Tuesday's exhibition, then skipped a workout the next day.

The penalty was announced after an hour-long meeting between Everett, his agent Larry Reynolds, general manager Dan Duquette and manager Jimy Williams.

Both sides emerged claiming a truce had been reached. Duquette said the meeting had provided a chance to address "festering" issues.

"Carl has a better understanding of his role on the team," Duquette said. "We had a candid exchange and I believe the issues are resolved."

Everett also struck a conciliatory note, saying progress was made.

"I'm not worried about fines and different stuff like that," he said. "We've got April through October to worry about."

But Reynolds wasn't happy with the size of the penalty.

"Put it this way, we're going to appeal it," he said.

Boston applied a three-day penalty to Everett's $7 million salary, but based the fine on a 216-day season - the 183-day regular season plus 33 mandatory days of spring training.

The standard formula fines a player for a percentage of his salary over just the 183-day regular season.

What Boston did is unusual because players are paid only for the regular season, not for spring training. Gene Orza, No. 2 official at the player's association, said the penalties were illegal and laughable.

"It's not going to stand," Orza said. "They're hopeless up there. There are some cases that are so far beyond the pale that you don't worry about them."

Duquette said Everett was being fined for missing three days of work.

"I believe the pay should be tied to the work," he said.

Everett batted .300 with 34 home runs and 108 RBIs in his first year with Boston last year, but didn't get along with Williams.

Everett said he didn't like Williams and irritated the manager by showing up late for a game against Cleveland. That day, he got into a clubhouse argument with outfielder Darren Lewis.

When the team didn't discipline Everett, Williams said if Duquette wasn't going to back him, he should fire him.

Williams and Everett reportedly settled their differences during a talk at the winter meetings in Dallas, but Everett's behavior wa no different this spring.

He missed the bus to Clearwater on March 7 for a game with the Phillies. Tuesday, he drove a private car to Tampa - where he lives - and met the team at Legends Field, a violation of team rules requiring everyone to ride on the team bus or van.

After Williams sent Everett home, he was reportedly so angry that he said he would demand a trade. The next day he didn't show up for a scheduled workout in Fort Myers.

Everett is signed through 2002, with a club option for 2003. Everett said a possible trade wasn't discussed in Thursday's meeting.

"You shouldn't even ask for something that you have no control over," he said. "I have a contract and I'm honoring my contract. I have a contract with the Red Sox and that's what I am. I am a Red Sox."

Duquette added that he has no plans to deal Everett.

The team can succeed despite the fact that Everett and Williams don't get along, he added.

"In every workplace there's personality issues," he said. "But it's incumbent on people involved to focus on their job to get their work done."

But Everett may have hurt his standing among some teammates.

"It reflects to me that he doesn't care about me enough to show up on time," Boston pitcher Pete Schourek said. "When one of your best players is not happy, he's probably not going to perform as well as he could, and that hurts me in the long run because I want to win a World Series."

Williams wouldn't discuss most of what was said during the meeting, saying it was a private team matter. He did say he hoped the troubles with Everett were over.

"We all have challenges whether it's with our families or work or whatever and we all try to handle them the best way we can and get together as one unit," he said.

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