This morning we saw Bill Plaschke get the vapors over Yasiel Puig “clearing benches, raising tempers, risking everything” in “a first-inning plunking incident that nearly started a brawl.” This was bad, see, because the brawl could’ve injured someone or gotten someone suspended and represented an irresponsible loss of cool. Bad, Puig. BAD, BAD Puig!
In September 2011, however, Plaschke wrote this:
On Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium, imitating that long-ago barb with an inside fastball, a battling Clayton Kershaw proved worthy of winning the award that carries Cy Young’s name.
Although Kershaw will never admit it, his pitch that plunked the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Gerardo Parra in the elbow in the sixth inning of the Dodgers’ eventual 3-2 victory appeared to be a retaliation for Parra’s crotch-grabbing, home-run posing insult of the Dodgers on Tuesday night.
Kershaw was immediately ejected, and some might think his Cy Young bid was derailed, but I propose that it was cemented. At a moment where he would have been excused the greatest of selfishness, he threw one for the team. By hitting Parra, he had everything to lose but his teammates’ respect, yet clearly decided he would rather have that respect.
He also noted how important it was for Chad Billingsley to throw inside and hit some guys once upon a time too.
I would invite Plaschke to explain the differences in these situations, but I suspect he’s too busy yelling loudly on some ESPN show at the moment or preparing an acceptance speech for one of his many writing awards to be bothered with any sort of consistency on the matter.
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.