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Philadelphia will host 2026 All-Star Game

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We wrote about this last week because it was pretty obvious what was going on then, but Major League Baseball just officially announced that the 2026 All-Star Game will be held in Philadelphia.

The reason: the celebration of the 250th anniversary of American independence which — and this is a fabbo word — is America’s Semiquincentennial. Say that three times real fast. It comes 50 years after the 1976 All-Star Game when Veterans Stadium hosted the Midsummer Classic for the Bicentennial. Which I was alive for, which means that I’m pushing 50 and, oh my God, that’s quite a thing to contemplate.

Rob Manfred:

“Major League Baseball is honored to have the 2026 All-Star Game in Philadelphia be part of the celebration of the 250th anniversary of American independence. This event will continue a tradition established in 1976 where the National Pastime plays an important role in a milestone for our country.”

This year’s All-Star Game will take place in Cleveland. Next year’s will be at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. They have not awarded venues yet for 2021-25. My guess is that 2026 is being announced now because the major sports leagues are going to try to line up special events in Philly just like they did in 1976, when the NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball all held their All-Star Games there.

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.