Settling the Score: Friday’s results

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Not sure if you’ve heard about him, but this Mike Trout fellow is pretty dang good.

The 20-year-old was in the middle of everything again last night, going 2-for-4 with a triple and three RBI in a 4-2 win over the AL West leading Rangers.

Trout got the Angels on the board in the bottom of the sixth inning with an RBI triple and then scored the tying run on a single by Albert Pujols. After making an excellent running catch to end a scoring threat in the top of the seventh, Trout put the Angels in front by dumping a two-run single in center field.

Jerome Williams did his part by allowing two runs over seven innings while Scott Downs and Ernesto Frieri each pitched a scoreless inning of relief to lock down the victory.

The Angels have nine wins in their last 11 games and now sit at 27-26 on the season, just 4 1/2 games behind the Rangers. Of course, Trout has been a big part of their recent resurgence, hitting .309/.370/.537 with five home runs, seven doubles, three triples, 19 RBI, eight stolen bases and a .906 OPS in 31 games since being called up from the minors in late April.

Your Friday box scores:

Marlins 4, Phillies 6

Yankees 9, Tigers 4

Twins 1, Indians 7

Cardinals 0, Mets 8

Red Sox 7, Blue Jays 2

Reds 4, Astros 1

Orioles 0, Rays 5

Pirates 8, Brewers 2

Mariners 4, White Sox 7

Dodgers 3, Rockies 13

Athletics 0, Royals 2

Diamondbacks 1, Padres 7

Cubs 3, Giants 4

Braves/Nationals – PPD

The Royals are paying everyone. Why can’t all of the other teams?

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Over the past several weeks we’ve heard a lot of news about teams furloughing front office and scouting staff, leveling pay cuts for those who remain and, most recently, ceasing stipends to minor league players and releasing them en masse. The message being sent, intentionally or otherwise, is that baseball teams are feeling the pinch.

The Kansas City Royals, however, are a different story.

Jon Heyman reported this afternoon that the Royals are paying their minor leaguers through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended, and unlike so many other teams, they are not releasing players either. Jeff Passan, meanwhile, reports that the Royals will not lay any team employees off or furlough anyone. “Nearly 150 employees will not take pay cuts,” he says, though “higher-level employees will take tiered cuts.” Passan adds that the organization intends to restore the lost pay due to those higher-level employees in the future when revenue ramps back up, making them whole.

While baseball finances are murky at best and opaque in most instances, most people agree that the Royals are one of the lower-revenue franchises in the game. They are also near the bottom as far as franchise value goes. Finally, they have the newest ownership group in all of baseball, which means that the group almost certainly has a lot of debt and very little if any equity in the franchise. Any way you slice it, cashflow is likely tighter in Kansas City than almost anywhere else.

Yet the Royals are paying minor leaguers and front office employees while a great number of other teams are not. What’s their excuse?