Cubs fire hitting coach Chili Davis

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James Neveau of NBC Chicago reports that the Cubs have fired hitting coach Chili Davis.

Davis, 58, joined the Cubs after the completion of the 2017 season. Aside from batting average, the Cubs regressed offensively — slightly, it should be noted — in a lot of offensive areas in 2018, so Davis pays the price for that. His stint with the Cubs lasts just one year.

Cubs AVG OBP SLG BB% K% ISO wOBA
2016 .256 .343 .429 10.4% 21.1% .173 .333
2017 .255 .338 .437 9.9% 22.3% .182 .331
2018 .258 .333 .410 9.0% 21.8% .152 .321

The Cubs’ offense waned in September as the team in aggregate put up a .663 OPS in 29 games. They went 16-12 in the final month while the Brewers went 19-7. That resulted in a deadlock at the top of the NL Central at the end of the season, forcing a Game 163 tiebreaker which the Brewers wound up winning.

Davis previously coached for the Athletics (2012-14) and Red Sox (2015-17). He will probably be able to find work elsewhere, though a one-year stint with an otherwise successful team isn’t exactly the greatest look.

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.