Eno Sarris of Fangraphs has an interesting story about how the Giants — and a lot of other teams, though he uses the Giants as his example — look for any sort of small edge to make the lives and work of their players, coaches and staff easier. Be it from making them more comfortable on the charter flight to making sure Bruce Bochy doesn’t have to poop in a stall next to Madison Bumgarner, the Giants are looking for ways to improve. Why? Here’s Giants Vice President Bobby Evans:
“Any advantage you can gain, or any possible roadblock you can eliminate, you should try to do it,” said Sabean. “It’s all value add and cost,” admitted Evans, “but the additional costs we’ve taken on are not that significant in the grander scheme.” In the end, Evans felt it was a question of “what do you value?”
That all makes sense. It still makes me wonder why teams don’t pay minor leaguers enough for them to avoid sleeping on air mattresses and eating at Carl’s Jr. six times a week, but either through lawsuits or teams realizing that taking care of all of their employees is the right thing to do, that will change eventually as well.
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.