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Now it’s the Astros’ turn to get shelled

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Over the last couple of days, we’ve covered the Astros’ offensive outburst. They demolished the Mariners 21-1 on Sunday before opening up a four-game series against the Athletics yesterday with a 15-0 win.

The tables have turned. The Astros and A’s have completed four innings in Houston as of this writing and the A’s are winning 17-2. Astros starter Wade Miley could only get one out in the first inning before getting yanked, serving up seven runs on seven hits and a walk. In fairness, all seven hits were singles and only a couple of them were hard-hit. But Cy Sneed and Joe Biagini couldn’t close the gates behind him, allowing a combined 10 more runs.

The A’s have hit five homers thus far, all of the two-run variety. Khris Davis, Sean Murphy, and Marcus Semien have each gone deep once while Matt Olson has two homers to his name. Everyone in the starting lineup has at least two hits and has scored at least one run. Jurickson Profar is the only one without a run batted in.

The Astros’ offense has been provided by George Springer, who has two solo homers, including one to lead off the bottom of the first inning, both off of Tanner Roark.

Update: It’s now 19-2 in the fifth inning. The last time the Astros gave up 19 runs in a game was April 20, 2013 against the Indians. They’ve only allowed 20-plus once, when the Cubs plated 22 runs on June 3, 1987. The A’s last scored 19 runs, well, two weeks ago, when they beat the Royals 19-4. They scored 21 runs on September 20 last year against the Astros.

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.