If you’re in to this sort of thing, you should know that Major League Baseball announced the top-selling jerseys of the season today. Yankees slugger Aaron Judge beat out Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo of the Cubs for the top spot. Bryant had held the top spot for the past two seasons.
After those three came Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw and Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper. The Cubs led the majors with four players among the top 20 in sales, with Javier Baez 10th and Kyle Schwarber at 14.
Here’s the top 20:
1. Aaron Judge, New York Yankees
2. Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs
3. Anthony Rizzo, Chicago Cubs
4. Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers
5. Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals
6. Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants
7. Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals
8. Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels
9. Francisco Lindor, Cleveland Indians
10. Javier Báez, Chicago Cubs
11. Corey Seager, Los Angeles Dodgers
12. Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox
13. Jose Altuve, Houston Astros
14. Kyle Schwarber, Chicago Cubs
15. Gary Sánchez, New York Yankees
16. Cody Bellinger, Los Angeles Dodgers
17. Dustin Pedroia, Boston Red Sox
18. Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves
19. Noah Syndergaard, New York Mets
20. Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies
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.