Max Scherzer looks terrifying ahead of start vs. Phillies

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Nationals starter Max Scherzer suffered a broken nose when he accidentally bunted a ball into his face during a drill on Tuesday afternoon. Nevertheless, Scherzer wanted to take the ball in the second game of Wednesday’s twin-billing versus the Phillies. MASN commentator and former player F.P. Santangelo tweeted a picture of Scherzer about a half hour ahead of game time. Scherzer looks terrifying, like the Terminator.

The floundering Phillies lost the first game 6-2. They are 7-11 in their last 18 games. Now they have to face an even scarier version of the already-intimidating Scherzer. The surging Nationals have won 12 of their last 18 games.

It will be interesting to see if Scherzer is affected at all by his broken nose. He has started to come on as of late, owning a 1.06 ERA with 49 strikeouts in 34 innings spanning his most recent five starts.

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.