Yesterday was an important day. It was the fifth anniversary of Bud Selig convening a committee to investigate the Oakland Athletics potential move to San Jose.
Not that we shoulda expected anything by now. Anyone who has followed baseball’s business matters for any length of time can tell you that Bud Selig forms committees for one purpose and one purpose only: to get people to quit asking him about things or blaming him for stuff. To give him a committee he can point to in order to say “hey, they’re working on it. I’ll know something when you do.” There’s no real urgency to fix the problem, obviously.
So the A’s still sit in Oakland, San Jose spins its wheels and people act like the A’s not being there is about anything other than the Giants owning territorial right to San Jose. Which they don’t like to mention, because to do so is to remind people that baseball has carved up territories in a way that is every bit as retrograde as European carving up Africa in the 19th century.
But at least the five year anniversary gives me an excuse to listen to this:
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.