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Players respond to President Trump’s tweet criticizing Dave Roberts

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Last night, President Trump tweeted his thoughts on Dodgers manager Dave Roberts’ bullpen strategy. Starter Rich Hill had tossed six shutout innings, but issued a leadoff walk to Xander Bogaerts in the seventh. After striking out Eduardo Núñez, Roberts elected to swap Hill for fellow lefty Scott Alexander, who walked Brock Holt on four pitches. He then brought in Ryan Madson, who has struggled in the World Series thus far. Madson was able to get Jackie Bradley, Jr. to pop out, but then served up a three-run home run to Mitch Moreland that put the Red Sox back in the game. The Red Sox would to on to tie the game in the eighth, then hung a five-spot in the ninth en route to a 9-6 victory.

Trump tweeted:

Watching the Dodgers/Red Sox final innings. It is amazing how a manager takes out a pitcher who is loose & dominating through almost 7 innings, Rich Hill of Dodgers, and brings in nervous reliever(s) who get shellacked. 4 run lead gone. Managers do it all the time, big mistake!

During the postgame press conference, Roberts was asked to respond to the tweet. To his credit, Roberts was level-headed about the criticism. Roberts said, “The President said that? I’m happy he was tuning in and watching the game. I don’t know how many Dodger games he’s watched. I don’t think he was privy to the conversation. That’s one man’s opinion.”

Roberts wasn’t the only one to respond to Trump’s tweet. Via Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, Hill said, “There was a mass shooting yesterday … The focus, in my opinion, of the president is to be on the country, and not on moves that are made in a World Series game.”

Astros third baseman Alex Bregman tweeted a few crying laughter emojis followed by, “I’m crying …. don’t get mad at me for commenting y’all… this is a sports related tweet….” Then, responding to someone who suggested that Trump’s tweet isn’t out of character for a President, Bregman said, “I’m just saying it’s funny how we are told to stick to playing sports… It’s very hypocritical when he’s telling Roberts how to manage…especially when a mass shooting just happened earlier that day…”

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.