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MLB clears the Mariners in connection with the Dr. Lorena Martin allegations

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In November, the Seattle Mariners fired Dr. Lorena Martin, who had been their director of high performance. In the wake of her dismissal, Dr. Martin took to Instagram to accuse members of the team’s front office of making racist comments against foreign-born playersThe Mariners responded, denying Dr. Martin’s claims, calling them “false” and “outrageous.” Dr. Martin has filed a discrimination lawsuit against the Mariners.

In the wake of those claims, Major League Baseball launched an investigation. The league just announced its findings:

On November 13, 2018, Major League Baseball announced that it would investigate allegations made by Dr. Lorena Martin, a former employee of the Seattle Mariners, regarding her treatment by the organization and her claims that senior Club officials made derogatory and inappropriate comments. The investigation was conducted by Epstein Becker Green, a national law firm specializing in labor and employment matters, whose attorneys interviewed seventeen potential witnesses, including Dr. Martin.

The firm did not uncover credible evidence that the Mariners, or any of its employees, violated Major League Baseball’s Workplace Code of Conduct, or applicable anti-discrimination law, in the treatment of Dr. Martin or the termination of her employment. The investigation also concluded that there is no credible evidence to support Dr. Martin’s claim that Mariners’ employees, including Jerry Dipoto, Scott Servais, or Andy McKay, made any of the comments attributed to them in her public statement or subsequent lawsuit.

Because of the ongoing litigation, MLB will have no further comment on this matter.

And that, I presume, will be that. At least unless or until Martin’s lawsuit uncovers anything missed by MLB’s investigators.

 

 

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.