The fastest pitch in the Statcast era was a ball low and inside

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Last month we witnessed he hardest-hit ball in the two-year Statcast era. It was a Giancarlo Stanton grounder that resulted in a fairly easy 4-6-3 double play.

Last night we saw the fastest pitch in the two-year Statcast era. It was 105.1 miles per hour and, of course, it came courtesy of Aroldis Chapman.

Oh, and it was a ball, low and inside, that Steve Pearce (um, I dunno) J.J. Hardy laid off of because, well, it was not a great pitch:

I continue to stand by my comments from the Stanton thing: Statcast is pretty neat and I’m confident that, at some point, there will a lot of cool things analysts can do with it and which players can, eventually, use to enhance their games. It’s pretty useless to tout speeds and angles and stuff in a vacuum, however, and the social media and broadcasting folks should maybe lay off of it unless and until there are actually some contextualized and relatable things to be drawn from the data which, on its own, is only moderately interesting.

Jered Weaver won a game on Sunday, after all, and he throws about as hard as the kid across the street who plays on the JV team. There’s a little more to it, ya know?

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.