Zach Britton
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Zack Britton explains why he is no longer Zach Britton

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Last week Yankees reliever, Mr. Z. Britton, tweeted that he would, going forward, be known as “Zack” Britton and not “Zach” Britton as he has been known to the public for his entire professional career.  I thought about posting something at the time then figured, eh, it’s pretty minor. I’ll just mention something about it the first time he’s in the news for something this spring. But this story is too fun not to share.

I and a lot of people had a chuckle out of Britton’s tweet, wondering if he was just changing it on a whim, but it turns out it was the correction of a long-running mistake that was perpetuated, it seems, by a small error, inertia and, it would seem, Britton not being too hung up about how one’s name is spelled.

The upshot: he’s always, legally, been “Zackary,” which is “Zack,” and all of his legal documents have always said “Zackary,” but his parents called him “Zach” and told him the proper way to shorten it was “Zach,” so in non-legal settings — on the Orioles’ rosters, on baseball cards and places like that — it’s always been “Zach.”  His wife, who is an attorney, told him that it should probably be uniform everywhere so as to avoid potential confusion. So he and the Yankees agreed that he should now, properly, be listed as “Zack” everyplace.

As a “Craig” who gets called “Greg” an awful lot — and as the father of a son named “Carlo” who is invariably called “Carlos” by others — I can’t imagine being so blasé about it all, but I suppose Britton is just a way more chill dude.

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.