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Video: Bryce Harper drops an F-bomb at home plate ump Brian Knight after Nationals walk off winners

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Things were testy between outfielder Bryce Harper and home plate umpire Brian Knight during Monday’s game between the Nationals and Tigers. Harper had apparently been chirping at Knight since the fourth inning, when he was called out on strikes.

In the bottom of the ninth inning, with the score tied at four apiece, Danny Espinosa struck out looking against Tigers reliever Mark Lowe for the first out of the frame. Harper must have been shouting from the dugout because Knight turned around and instantly ejected him. MLB Gameday says it was Espinosa who was ejected, but Espinosa didn’t react when Knight gave the hook and Harper got angrier.

As fate would have it, Clint Robinson promptly ended the game by hitting a walk-off solo home run to right field. It barely cleared the wall, so the umpires reviewed the play to make sure a fan didn’t interfere. The initial ruling was confirmed and the Nats won 5-4. As the Nationals rushed onto the field to celebrate, Harper could be clearly seen screaming “F— you!” at Knight.

Here’s a video, courtesy Joe Mullinax of SB Nation:

To make the whole situation even funnier, Robinson told MASN’s Dan Kolko in a post-game interview that he thought it was the eighth inning, not the ninth. So it was an interesting game, to say the least.

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.