Joe Torre benches Matt Kemp for the second straight game

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Matt Kemp is out of the Dodgers’ lineup tonight for the second straight game and since he said yesterday that there’s nothing wrong with him physically … well, that means he’s simply been benched. Again.
Kemp has had a disappointing season on both sides of the ball and is just 2-for-21 since a five-hit game on August 2, but his .260/.317/.451 overall line is hardly awful and obviously his track record is good enough that it just seems odd that the Dodgers are so willing to jerk him around at age 25.
Tonight manager Joe Torre is sitting Kemp in favor of left-handed hitters Scott Podsednik and Jay Gibbons versus right-hander Roy Oswalt. Perhaps that’s not completely insane on a one-game, platoon-based level, but Kemp has a 50-point edge over Podsednik in career OPS versus righties and obviously there’s something beyond that going on here.

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.