I didn’t tune in to the Mets-Marlins game because, really, I didn’t care a lot about the Mets-Marlins game. But Bob Klapisch was there and he heard the boo-birds for returning star, Jose Reyes. And he wasn’t happy about it:
Let’s not quibble over what percentage of the Citi Field crowd booed Jose Reyes in his first at-bat Tuesday night. We’ll be kind and say only half declared war on the shortstop, even though it probably was more. But no matter – after the third inning, Reyes was treated to an ugly, full-blown trashing, which should’ve embarrassed any decent, fair-minded Mets fan.
I think Klapisch is right on all of the reasoning here: the Mets didn’t make any serious attempt to keep Reyes. The Marlins offered him silly money. Reyes did nothing on his way out the door that should have upset Mets fans. It was a straight business thing, just like anything else.
I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’m not a big fan of booing people, so I’m not totally objective here. And I realize that everyone has a right to boo if they want to. But booing Reyes last night seems rather odd, petty and kind of sad to me.
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.