There was some drama in the Red Sox dugout earlier this evening, as left-hander Wade Miley had an argument with manager John Farrell after being informed that he was being taken out of the game. You can watch the video here.
It was a rough outing for Miley, who allowed five runs on nine hits over four innings. He allowed a total of three home runs, including a solo shot to Manny Machado in his final inning of work. Miley and Farrell exchanged words before walking down into the tunnel to complete their conversation in private.
Steven Wright and Junichi Tazawa combined to allow an unearned run over four innings in relief of Miley and David Ortiz hit his first home run since May 19, but Boston’s comeback fell one run short in a 6-5 loss. The Red Sox were swept in the series and now sit at 27-34 on the season, in last place in the American League East and seven games behind the first-place Yankees. Oh, and they are set to begin a series tomorrow against the Blue Jays, who have won eight straight and are the hottest team in the majors. Frustration is mounting.
Farrell was asked about the situation with Miley after the game:
Over the past several weeks we’ve heard a lot of news about teams furloughing front office and scouting staff, leveling pay cuts for those who remain and, most recently, ceasing stipends to minor league players and releasing them en masse. The message being sent, intentionally or otherwise, is that baseball teams are feeling the pinch.
The Kansas City Royals, however, are a different story.
Jon Heyman reported this afternoon that the Royals are paying their minor leaguers through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended, and unlike so many other teams, they are not releasing players either. Jeff Passan, meanwhile, reports that the Royals will not lay any team employees off or furlough anyone. “Nearly 150 employees will not take pay cuts,” he says, though “higher-level employees will take tiered cuts.” Passan adds that the organization intends to restore the lost pay due to those higher-level employees in the future when revenue ramps back up, making them whole.
While baseball finances are murky at best and opaque in most instances, most people agree that the Royals are one of the lower-revenue franchises in the game. They are also near the bottom as far as franchise value goes. Finally, they have the newest ownership group in all of baseball, which means that the group almost certainly has a lot of debt and very little if any equity in the franchise. Any way you slice it, cashflow is likely tighter in Kansas City than almost anywhere else.
Yet the Royals are paying minor leaguers and front office employees while a great number of other teams are not. What’s their excuse?