Joe Maddon believes 'real men wear plaid'

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Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon has a plea to Rays fans out there (from the St. Petersburg Times):

“Real men wear plaid,” Maddon said. “Come on out in your plaids — that would be awesome. To have this ballpark plaided out would be very cool.”

Maddon invented the “Brayser,” a blue and white plaid blazer that his team embraced this season. And I have to admit it would be pretty cool to see Tropicana Field clad in plaid when the Rays take the field for Game 1 against the Rangers on Wednesday. Only one problem: like many creative geniuses, Maddon has focused on the making of his invention, but not the production, and there are only 54 “Braysers” in existence.

So dig into those closets, Rays fans. You’re on your own.

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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.