Tigers outfielder Yoenis Cespedes had White Sox starter Jose Quintana’s number on Sunday afternoon. Cespedes stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and two out in the first inning and worked the count full before hammering a 92 MPH Quintana fastball over the fence in left field for a grand slam.
Cespedes made it two when he faced Quintana again in the third inning, this time with a runner on first base and two outs. Cespedes demolished a 90 MPH fastball so much that left fielder Melky Cabrera barely moved as he watched it sail over the bullpen.
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Once Quintana was out of the game, the White Sox were able to handle Cespedes. Reliever Matt Albers got him to line out to center in the fifth and Kyle Drabek struck him out in the seventh. The Tigers still cruised to a 9-1 win.
Cespedes, acquired from the Red Sox during the winter, is batting .300/.314/.600 with three home runs and 10 RBI in 51 plate appearances.
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.