Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper advanced to the second round of the 2018 Home Run Derby, swatting 13 home runs to best the 12 hit by Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman. Harper was a No. 2 seed to Freeman’s No. 7, so the outcome isn’t a surprise. The hometown crowd in Washington, D.C. were certainly pleased that their star has advanced.
Harper would have had 30 seconds of bonus time since he hit two home runs that went 440 feet or total, but he got to 13 with time to spare in regulation. Harper maxed out at 467 feet in distance and 113 MPH in exit velocity. When interviewed on the field after his performance, Harper said, out of breath, “I’m tired!”
The second round is set. Rhys Hoskins (17 homers) will oppose Kyle Schwarber (16). Harper (13) will take on Max Muncy (17).
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.