Matt Harvey made his spring debut today. It was his first action since undergoing Tommy John surgery in October 2013. It was pretty darn good.
He struck out the first batter he faced, Anthony Gose. He broke the bat of Jose Iglesias. Then he got Rajai Davis to hit into a simple ground ball out, breaking his bat too. Total for the first inning: ten pitches. He dialed it up to 98 m.p.h. on his fastball. No sweat.
In the second Harvey got Nick Castellanos to fly out to right-center. Then someone named Jordan Lennerton to strike out on three pitches (note: the Tigers don’t send a lot of veterans on the long bus ride to Port St. Lucie). Finally, Bryan Holaday struck out looking. Harvey hit 99 on the gun on his penultimate pitch.
Harvey tossed 25 pitches. He was slated to throw up to 35 today. So yeah, I’d say he had a good day.
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.