ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) Major League Baseball is considering one of two matchups for its 2020 series in London: New York Mets vs. Washington Nationals or Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals.
Two people familiar with the discussions told The Associated Press of the potential matchups. They spoke on condition of anonymity Friday because no announcements had been authorized. An announcement is expected after opening day this year.
MLB’s first games in Britain are scheduled for this summer, when the World Series champion Boston Red Sox play the New York Yankees at London’s Olympic Stadium in June 29-30. The venue was built for the 2012 Olympics and reconfigured for the Premier League club West Ham United.
Baseball’s collective bargaining agreement calls for a 2020 opener in Asia, April games in Mexico, May games in Puerto Rico or the Dominican Republic and June games in Britain.
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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.