Dusty Baker
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Dusty Baker will manage American League in All-Star Game

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Along with leading a besmirched Astros roster, new manager Dusty Baker will have an additional responsibility as MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand points out: Baker will manage the American League in the 2020 All-Star Game as a result of the Astros winning the AL pennant. He will, of course, be opposed by Dave Martinez, manager of the reigning champion Nationals.

Baker will have his choice of managers/coaches to bring on his All-Star staff this summer. The All-Star festivities will be held on July 14 at Dodger Stadium, which will provide additional intrigue since the Astros and Red Sox both used sign-stealing schemes to help overcome the Dodgers in the 2017 and ’18 World Series. The Astros and Red Sox will likely have their fair share of All-Stars headed to the Midsummer Classic.

Baker’s hiring in Houston was made official earlier today. The 70-year-old comes with 22 years of managing experience, having amassed a 1,863-1,636 (.532) managerial record with four teams dating back to 1993. However, a championship has thus far eluded Baker, a three-time winner of the NL Manager of the Year Award.

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.