Playoff Reset: NLCS takes center stage

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It’s a travel day on the American League side of things, so all of the focus will be on Game 2 of the National League Championship Series on Sunday night in St. Louis. Let’s preview the action …

The Game: San Francisco Giants vs. St. Louis Cardinals, National League Championship Series Game 2
The Time: 8:00 PM Eastern
The Place: Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Missouri
The Channel: FOX Sports 1
The Starters: Jake Peavy vs. Lance Lynn
The Upshot: The Cardinals were dominated by Madison Bumgarner in Game 1 on Saturday night and will need to generate some offense against Peavy to even things up in this best-of-seven NLCS before the series shifts to San Francisco. Peavy was fantastic down the stretch for the Giants in the regular season and he tossed 5 2/3 scoreless innings in his one NLDS start against the Nationals. Can he keep it rolling? Lynn had two rough outings versus San Francisco in the 2012 NLCS, but he’s a much more confident and effective pitcher now, coming off a breakout regular season (2.72 ERA, 181 strikeouts in 203 2/3 innings). Peavy and Lynn both pitch with a ton of visible emotion. Look for some good screaming in this one.

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.