Everyone figured that Bob Brenly was on his way back to Arizona after his exit from the Cubs booth was confirmed Wednesday. The Diamondbacks made it official today, naming him their TV color guy, and announced a surprise choice as the new play-by-play man: ESPN’s Steve Berthiaume.
The move keeps Brenly in the booth with a number friendly play-by-play guy. Berthiaume has an active presence on twitter and shows a fondness for advanced stats. He seems like a great choice for Arizona, and the new booth figures to be a nice upgrade over the Daron Sutton-Mark Grace pairing that disintegrated in 2012.
As for Len Kasper’s new partner in Chicago, that’s still up in the air. Kerry Wood told CSNChicago’s David Kaplan that he has no interest in the job. Kaplan mentions Todd Hollandsworth, Rick Sutcliffe, Steve Lyons, Eric Karros and Dan Plesac as some possibilities to join WGN. He also brings up Doug Glanville, who would be a terrific choice, in my opinion. Grace doesn’t appear to be a candidate.
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.