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Catcher Carlos Ruiz pitched in last night’s rout of the Mariners

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Last night we had an ugly game in Minnesota as the Twins blasted the Seattle Mariners, 20-7. While it’s always fun to read the box scores after one of these things, there isn’t much that can salvage an ugly game as it’s happening. It’s just a lot of dejected guys on one team and a lot of guys laughing on the other, the outcome no longer in doubt.

But one saving grace of such games is the possibility of a position player pitching. It’s usually a utility infielder or a backup catcher. Last night M’s manager Scott Servais called on his backup catcher: Carlos Ruiz.

Chooch got off to a rough start when he entered the game in the bottom of the eighth, giving up a 450-foot homer to Eddie Rosario on his third pitch. Not that that’s so terrible given that Rosario hit three homers last night. Credit to Ruiz for at least going 1-1 on him first.

And heck, credit to Ruiz for shaking that off. He walked two guys and gave up a double, but no more runs scored. Andrew Miller is one of the best pitchers on the planet and he gave up a run to the Dodgers last night. Advantage: Chooch.

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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.