We wrote back in October about the challenges facing the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. Joe Posnanski said that the place was in “grave danger.” Dr. Raymond Doswell, the museum’s interim director, wrote to me to tell me that Posnanski was overstating the problems. Dr. Doswell will likely have to write to Sam Mellinger now too, because Sam is sounding the alarm over the Museum scratching its annual Legacy Awards show, which is the biggest event on its agenda each year:
Every January for the last decade, the museum has shined. The Legacy Awards Show became its best-known event. Now, for the first time since 2000, nothing, no event, and what’s worse is that some longtime museum members are just now finding out …
The show should’ve been this weekend. Men and women should be dressing to the nines, black ties and long dresses and open checkbooks. Baseball stars like Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton would’ve been invited, and the ones who showed up would’ve smiled and told a room full of potential donors how much the museum’s legacy means to them.
All that, now gone.
Mellinger says that there’s talk about rescheduling the Legacy Awards Show for November to coincide with Buck O’Neil’s 100th birthday. I’ve had my fair share of dealings with non-profits, fundraising and the like, however, and these kinds of moves are almost always harbingers of doom. Here’s hoping this case provides an exception.
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.