The Cubs, Chicago inching toward a resolution

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Last week there were reports that a deal between the Cubs and the city of Chicago which would allow for the renovation of Wrigley Field to go forward would be announced for today’s home opener. Well, we’ve had a couple of innings of ineffective Edwin Jackson already today, and no announcement.  But Tom Ricketts says they’re getting there:

Cubs owner Tom Ricketts says talks with the city over a renovation plan for Wrigley Field are “going in the right direction” and the team is looking forward to the public part of the process.

Ricketts talked before the Cubs hosted the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday in the first game of the season at their 99-year-old neighborhood ballpark. The team and the city appear to be close to announcing a $500 million project.

I thought “the public part of the process” was the part in which the team has been negotiating with city hall and the rooftop owners across the street for the past month or two.  Now there’s another part? Jeez.

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.