Lowell says his knee is improving

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Mike Lowell told Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe that his left knee “felt great compared to yesterday.” Lowell was forced to leave Friday’s game after fouling a ball off his leg in his first at-bat.

“The swelling under the knee cap is annoying and I can’t flex my quad
(all the way), but it’s (swelling) a quarter of what it was yesterday.”

Even though the knee is improving, Lowell acknowledged that he will likely miss two three days before getting clearance to play again, greatly diminishing the already slim chance that the Red Sox will be able to trade him before the end of spring training.

Still, Lowell doesn’t see the disabled list as a possibility to start the season, saying “I don’t want to be on a phantom DL.” With just 10 at-bats this spring, it might not be so phantom.

Red Sox employees “livid” over team pay cut plan

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Even Drellich of The Athletic reports that the Boston Red Sox are cutting the pay of team employees. Those cuts, which began to be communicated last night, apply to all employees making $50,000 or more. They are tiered cuts, with people making $50-99,000 seeing salary cut by 20%, those making $100k-$499,000 seeing $25% cuts and those making $500,000 or more getting 30% cuts.

Drellich reported that a Red Sox employee told him that “people are livid” over the fact that those making $100K are being treated the same way as those making $500K. And, yes, that does seem to be a pretty wide spread for similar pay cuts. One would think that a team with as many analytically-oriented people on staff could perhaps break things down a bit more granularly.

Notable in all of this that the same folks who own the Red Sox — Fenway Sports Group — own Liverpool FC of the English Premier League, and that just last month Liverpool’s pay cut/employee furlough policies proved so unpopular that they led to a backlash and a subsequent reversal by the club. That came after intense criticism from Liverpool fan groups and local politicians. Sox owner John Henry must be confident that no such backlash will happen in Boston.

As we noted yesterday, The Kansas City Royals, who are not as financially successful as the Boston Red Sox, have not furloughed employees or cut pay as a result of baseball’s shutdown in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Perhaps someone in Boston could call the Royals and ask them how they managed that.