Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP

Blue Jays lose after Jose Bautista called out for slide interference


The Blue Jays were threatening to erase the Rays’ 3-2 lead in the bottom of the ninth on Tuesday, but the game ended when Jose Bautista was called out for slide interference.

Facing Rays reliever Alex Colome, Ryan Goins led off the bottom of the ninth with an infield single and advanced to second with one out on a Josh Donaldson single to center. Bautista then drew a walk to load the bases, bringing up Edwin Encarnacion. Encarnacion hit a grounder to third baseman Evan Longoria, who tossed to Logan Forsythe at second base. Forsythe avoided Bautista, but Bautista reached out his hand at the last second and grabbed Forsythe’s foot, causing him to make a poor throw to first base.

Two runs scored on the play, but the Rays issued a challenge, suggesting Bautista deliberately interfered with Forsythe. The umpires agreed after reviewing the play, saying that he did interfere and didn’t make an attempt to stay on second base, per Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi. Bautista was out at second and Encarnacion was out at first base, ending the game in a 3-2 Rays win.

Here’s video:

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After the game, Bautista said that player safety should be of concern, but added, “I just don’t see how my play was unsafe,” Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times reports. More from Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times:

Jays manager John Gibbons made a comment that he will likely regret tomorrow. Per Topkin:

Needless to say, Gibbons’ statement is sexist and unacceptable in the year 2016.

Three days into the regular season, we’ve already had three controversial slide-related incidents. It will likely calm down as the season progresses and players get used to the ways they can and cannot slide according to the updated rules.

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.