Given their rather rabid fanbase and the typical desire to make money from said fanbase, it was odd that the Red Sox never embraced the old-timers’ concept like the Yankees do and play an annual alumni game. That’s changing this month, though. The team announced today that Fenway Park will host a game between former Red Sox on May 27 at 10:30 a.m.
Scheduled to play in the game are Hall of Famers Wade Boggs and Pedro Martinez, All-Stars Derek Lowe and Mike Lowell and fun names such as Oil Can Boyd, Rich Garces, Sam Horn and Bill Lee. Dwight Evans and Luis Tiant will serve as managers.
Notably absent is David Ortiz, even though he was recently seen rooting on the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals. It’s also surprising not to see Tim Wakefield take part, considering that he’s doing work for NESN and thus most likely is in the area.
It’s the first time the Red Sox have played such a game at Fenway since 1993.
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.