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Video: Javier Baez steals home in Game 1 of the NLCS

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The Cubs are good. Bear with me here. You’ve seen them on paper, the match-ups that always skew heavily in their favor before a playoff series or a weekend set at Wrigley Field. You know Kris Bryant put an MVP-worthy season together and Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta, and Kyle Hendricks can each make a compelling case for the Cy Young Award. You know their bullpen had the third-highest K/9 rate, at 9.92, among major league bullpens in 2016 and their offense clocks in first place with 38.7 fWAR on the year.

You know all of this already. And yet, sometimes it takes a play this good and this rare to drive the point home. (Or maybe it doesn’t, and I’m just in denial most of the time. There’s a case to be made either way.)

In the second inning, with Jason Heyward on third base and no outs, Javier Baez crushed a Kenta Maeda slider for a double to drive in the second run of the night. He advanced to third on a wild pitch, then tore down the third base line when Jon Lester showed bunt at the plate, crossing the bag a second before the ball thumped into Carlos Ruiz‘s mitt for the tag.

According to Carrie Muskat of MLB.com, the last Cubs’ player to steal home in the postseason did so in Game 4 of the 1907 World Series, when leadoff batter Jimmy Slagle nabbed home plate from under the nose of opposing catcher Boss Schmidt in the ninth inning.

This, on the other hand, is how I’d imagine the Dodgers felt following the play:

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.