Manny Machado went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts in his Padres debut on Opening Day, but he got his first two hits with San Diego last night.
It didn’t start out too well for Machado for the second straight game last night, as he struck out in his first two at-bats. But then he lined a single to left off Derek Holland in the fifth. That advanced baserunner Wil Myers to third, who then on a sacrifice fly. Machado singled again in the seventh off Mark Melancon.
In other new Padre news, top prospect Fernando Tatis Jr. — who had two hits on opening day — doubled off the wall in the second and later came around to score and new second baseman Ian Kinsler homered leading off the third.
Padres pitchers showed up too, coming within three outs of their second straight shutout before Evan Longoria homered leading off the ninth. With the shutout of the Giants on Opening Day, San Diego pitchers tossed 17 scoreless innings to start the season. That’s a record for the Friars, who are 2-0 to begin the year for the first time since 2011.
In the end the Padres beat the Giants 4-1. And they really have to like the way things have gotten going in 2019.
Over the past several weeks we’ve heard a lot of news about teams furloughing front office and scouting staff, leveling pay cuts for those who remain and, most recently, ceasing stipends to minor league players and releasing them en masse. The message being sent, intentionally or otherwise, is that baseball teams are feeling the pinch.
The Kansas City Royals, however, are a different story.
Jon Heyman reported this afternoon that the Royals are paying their minor leaguers through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended, and unlike so many other teams, they are not releasing players either. Jeff Passan, meanwhile, reports that the Royals will not lay any team employees off or furlough anyone. “Nearly 150 employees will not take pay cuts,” he says, though “higher-level employees will take tiered cuts.” Passan adds that the organization intends to restore the lost pay due to those higher-level employees in the future when revenue ramps back up, making them whole.
While baseball finances are murky at best and opaque in most instances, most people agree that the Royals are one of the lower-revenue franchises in the game. They are also near the bottom as far as franchise value goes. Finally, they have the newest ownership group in all of baseball, which means that the group almost certainly has a lot of debt and very little if any equity in the franchise. Any way you slice it, cashflow is likely tighter in Kansas City than almost anywhere else.
Yet the Royals are paying minor leaguers and front office employees while a great number of other teams are not. What’s their excuse?