Cincinnati Reds v Kansas City Royals
Getty Images

Video: Billy Hamilton makes the lowest-probability catch of 2018

9 Comments

Reds center fielder (and speed demon) Billy Hamilton showed off his superb defense on Sunday, sprinting along the warning track to make an inning-ending catch in the first frame of the club’s series finale against the Pirates. Even given Hamilton’s lengthy highlight reel of spectacular outfield catches, this was a rare moment: According to Statcast, there was a 2% probability of making the catch, which helped the 27-year-old outfielder tie the record for the lowest-probability catch of 2018.

If it looked like a terrific distance to run, it was: Hamilton covered 83 feet in just 4.3 seconds. (Per MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon, that’s good enough for a 30.6 feet-per-second pace.)

Despite Hamilton’s first-inning heroics, it didn’t take long for the Pirates to get on the board. Colin Moran led off the second inning with a home run that finally evaded the center fielder’s grasp, followed by another long solo shot from Gregory Polanco in the fifth. The Reds responded with an RBI groundout, single, double and home run, however, and currently lead the Bucs 6-2 in the sixth.

Red Sox employees “livid” over team pay cut plan

Getty Images
6 Comments

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.