It’s been a rough day for Jackie Bradley Jr.
The Red Sox’ outfielder made two terrific catches during the team’s 4-1 loss to the Tigers on Saturday afternoon, but appeared to injure his shoulder on a catch at the wall and fell while rounding first base later in the game. Ian Browne of MLB.com speculated that the outfielder tripped over his left spike and injured his right knee in the process.
His timing couldn’t be worse. According to the Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham, “two or three strains” of the flu are circulating in the Red Sox’ clubhouse. Mookie Betts has not appeared in a game since Tuesday, Hanley Ramirez and Robbie Ross Jr. have been diagnosed with influenza, Joe Kelly caught the flu prior to Saturday’s game and Andrew Benintendi soldiered on after puking between innings. Combined with several disabled list stints and players missing time on the bereavement list, the last thing the Red Sox want to see is another player who’s down for the count.
Thankfully, things aren’t quite as bad as they seem. Bradley Jr. was able to exit the field under his own power and looked fine when walking around after the game. He later revealed that he had hyperextended his right knee in the fall, but doesn’t expect to miss any playing time and will likely slot back into the lineup on Sunday.
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.