Here are the lineups for Game 1 of the World Series between the Tigers and Giants, in San Francisco:
DETROIT TIGERS SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS
1. Austin Jackson, CF 1. Angel Pagan, CF
2. Omar Infante, 2B 2. Marco Scutaro, 2B
3. Miguel Cabrera, 3B 3. Pablo Sandoval, 3B
4. Prince Fielder, 1B 4. Buster Posey, C
5. Delmon Young, LF 5. Hunter Pence, RF
6. Jhonny Peralta, SS 6. Brandon Belt, 1B
7. Avisail Garcia, RF 7. Gregor Blanco, LF
8. Alex Avila, C 8. Brandon Crawford, SS
9. Justin Verlander, SP 9. Barry Zito, SP
Playing under NL rules takes the designated hitter away from the Tigers, so manager Jim Leyland has Delmon Young in left field and Andy Dirks on the bench. Young is terrible defensively, but came through offensively in the ALCS and having him in the lineup against left-hander Barry Zito makes sense. Leyland has typically benched Alex Avila in favor of Gerald Laird versus lefties, but Avila is behind the plate tonight catching Justin Verlander.
Bruce Bochy is going with his standard lineup versus right-handed pitching, which includes Buster Posey catching and cleaning up, Pablo Sandoval batting in front of him, and Gregor Blanco in left field while Melky Cabrera remains absent from the playoff roster.
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.