Video: Josh Donaldson crushes walk-off homer as Athletics down the Phillies

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Not much has gone right for the Athletics lately. After being swept by the lowly Rangers, they were in danger of dropping two out of three to the Phillies. The two teams were locked in a 6-6 tie going into the bottom of the tenth, with each side having squandered plenty of opportunities to push across more runs.

With a runner on first base and one out, Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez threw a 1-0 fastball right over the middle of the plate and Donaldson demolished it, hitting a no-doubter to straightaway center field for a walk-off two-run home run. It’s Donaldson’s third walk-off homer of the season, most in the majors per ESPN Stats & Info.

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Donaldson now has 28 home runs, 97 RBI, and a .255/.339/.458 slash line. Meanwhile, the Athletics remain a half-game up on the Royals, who beat the Tigers today, for the first of two American League Wild Card slots. The A’s extend their lead over the Mariners, who lost to the Astros, to 1.5 games.

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.