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Video: Albert Pujols hits 631st career home run, sixth-most in baseball history

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With a second-inning solo home run off of James Shields on Wednesday night, Angels 1B/DH Albert Pujols broke his tie with Ken Griffey, Jr. and took sole possession of sixth place on Major League Baseball’s all-time home run leaderboard with 631 career home runs.

Pujols, 38, now has his sights on Willie Mays, who is in fifth place with 660 career home runs. Alex Rodriguez is fourth at 696, followed by Babe Ruth (714), Hank Aaron (755), and Barry Bonds (762).

Pujols entered the night batting .248/.287/.425 with 16 home runs and 52 RBI in 376 plate appearances on the season. He has been more productive than he was last year, but he is still not quite the hitter he was in his mid-30’s and younger. Pujols is under contract with the Angels through 2021, earning another $87 million over the next three seasons.

Red Sox employees “livid” over team pay cut plan

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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.