If every TV, radio and podcast ad you hear is correct, these are tough times for everyone. From the restaurant worker who've seen her tips dry up to the multi-billionaire yacht aficionado who owns iconic pro sports franchises on two continents, no one is immune to the economic crisis those ads say we are all in ... together.
Of course, some of us are more in this together than others. Take, for instance, those employees of John Henry's Liverpool soccer team who got laid off by a team worth 2.2 billion dollars US and an ownership group worth $6.25 billion:
At least hey were laid off until Henry caved to the pressure:
So it shouldn't have come as a shock that Henry's Boston Globe announced that Henry's Boston Red Sox are slashing the pay of most of their workers. Which is a story that dropped with the spin-tastic headline Red Sox won't lay off full-time employees but some to have pay cut."
Talk about burying the lead to suit your purpose.
If you didn't catch that news, I don't blame you. I didn't know it either until someone pointed it out to me. You and I might've both missed it because the article was posted on The Globe's website at 9:20 Friday night. Otherwise known as the dumping ground for any bad news that you're forced to release but want to keep as quiet as possible. 9:20 p.m. is the time a corrupt politician dumps incriminating documents they're required to made public, not the video of them announcing some new program to help working moms. And the article still has yet to make the Globe's print edition. Here's the upshot:
Red Sox employees making more than $50,000 will have their pay cut on a sliding scale.
The Red Sox informed more than 400 employees on Friday night that they will not lay off or furlough any full-time staff members through the end of the season, but they will make pay cuts for those earning over $50,000, according to multiple team sources.
The group includes just under 200 employees in baseball operations — front-office members, major and minor league managers and coaches, and scouts and player development staff — as well as those in the team’s business operations. …
As first reported by Evan Drellich of The Athletic, for the remaining seven months of the year, salaries of $50,000 to $99,999 will be cut by 20 percent; salaries from $100,000 to $499,999 will be reduced by 25 percent; and salaries over $500,000 will be reduced by 30 percent. The cuts will take effect at the start of June
Which is sad and tragic news for the Sox staffers who face the same bills and cost of living as before the pandemic and just found out their pay is cut by a quarter or more. Effective immediately. And deeply hypocritical, given that just a couple of months ago, that same Boston Globe was shocked and outraged when the Bruins cut payroll:
Bruins owner and TD Garden proprietor Jeremy Jacobs …[t]he Charles Montgomery Burns of Boston sports resorted to his miserly ways this week. After being the last NHL franchise to release a plan to compensate part-time team and TD Garden game day employees during the COVID-19-necessitated shutdown, Jacobs and his Delaware North company are laying off employees and icing their income.
The Bruins announced Wednesday that, effective April 1, 68 salaried full-time employees would be placed on leave, receiving one week of pay and eight weeks of benefits while 82 full-time salaried employees would receive an unspecified “indefinite salary reduction.” The Bruins brain trust called the freezing of funds “temporary business stabilization measures” for Delaware North, the parent company of the Bruins and the Garden. It’s a euphemism for pad-locking Jacobs’s wallet as long as pucks are on pause.
Sure, Jacobs laid off full-time workers and Henry hasn't. Yet. (Though he did try in Liverpool.) But both slashed payroll. Still, the team owner who doesn't own a major news outlet got excoriated by the one who does. He was vilified as a miser. The Monty Burns of Boston sports who pad-locked his wallet. But we get no such self-righteous indignation from The Globe now that the Sox are slashing payroll too. Just a quick announcement with a damage-minimizing headline timed to get minimum traction and still not a single mention in print.
I remind you again, John Henry's paper has more than journalistic standards. It has journalistic double standards.
For the record, the other team owner in town Henry can't stand has had zero layoffs and not dime in pay cuts. If he had, believe me that would be a banner headline above the fold on Page One. Instead, he just gets headlines like this:
Thoughts and prayers to the employees of the Bruins and Red Sox. Unfortunately, there's only one RKK.