I gave short shrift to the Blue Jays-Orioles game in this morning’s recaps, talking more about Texas dry rub barbecue than the actual game. Which, based on how sloppy that game appears to have been, was a decision by which I stand. But I did overlook something really fun from the game.
That fun thing: O’s outfielder Anthony Santander instantly making thousands of new fans in the left field seats at Camden Yards. The fans: all British scouts. The Boy Scout/Girl Scout types, not the old guy in New Balances holding the radar gun type. Over 4,000 of them, who came to the game because they told their scout leaders that they wanted to experience American sports.
What got them so worked up for Santander? He simply threw them a ball after the third out, after which they wildly cheered every single one of his catches, no matter how routine:
Seeing this, the Orioles scoreboard folks put up a message declaring them to be the Official International Anthony Santander Fan Club. Some fans went to the team store and bought Santander jerseys.
MLB: send Baltimore to the UK instead of the Cubs and Cardinals next year. And give the scouts free tickets.
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.