Hideki Matsui donates $600,000 to Japanese relief efforts

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Last week Ichiro Suzuki donated $1.2 million to the Japanese relief efforts and now Hideki Matsui has joined him, donating around $600,000 to the Red Cross.

Matsui’s official donation is 50 million yen (Ichiro’s was 100 million yen), which works out to about $620,000 based on the current conversion rate and represents around 15 percent of his 2011 salary.

Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle notes that Matsui previously also donated 50 million yen following the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004 and 10 million yen after a smaller 2007 earthquake in Japan.

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.