Astros shortstop Carlos Correa made the final out of Thursday night’s 7-4 loss to the Blue Jays. Closer Roberto Osuna threw a 3-2 cutter, getting Correa to tap back weakly to the mound. Correa very lightly jogged towards first base while Osuna took a few steps towards first base while holding the ball before throwing.
That delay of one or two seconds has Correa salty. After the game, he said (via Hunter Atkins of the Houston Chronicle), “I don’t know what’s so special about that: throwing me a 3-2 cutter; showing me up… I go home, relax. Next time I face him, he better not give up a homer.”
Here’s a link to the video of the final out. First baseman Justin Smoak was actually late getting to the first base bag, which explains most of Osuna’s pause. Osuna could’ve thrown a little earlier, leading Smoak to the bag, but that’s also just a bit more risky. And since Correa wasn’t exactly making a beeline for first base, Osuna had the fortune of waiting a little longer. It doesn’t seem like Osuna was trying to show up Correa at all.
At the very least, though, it’s nice to see a complaint coming from a hitter, as it’s usually pitchers complaining about being shown up because batters take too long to get out of the box after hitting a home run. Now we know that players at all positions can be irrational and petty about other players’ behavior.
The Astros and Jays just kicked off their four-game set in Toronto, so there’s three more games that have the potential for drama.
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.