The ugly side of baseball reared its head again on Wednesday, with news that the Dodgers laid off employees, though the number of people affected is unknown.
Ramona Shelburne at ESPN was first to report the news on Wednesday. Jorge Castillo at the Los Angeles Times quoted team president Stan Kasten saying Dodgers’ losses in 2020 were “well north of $100 million.”
With MLB books closed to the public, it’s hard to verify that figure. But the Braves, owned by the publicly-traded Liberty Media, reported operating losses of $88 million through the first three quarters of this year, for what it’s worth.
In May the Dodgers announced a reduction in pay for several employees as a way to avoid layoffs at the time. Employees making at least $75,000 reportedly had their salaries trimmed on a graduated scale, with those at the top of the list seeing their pay cut by up to 35 percent.
After no fans in the stands at Dodger Stadium during the truncated 2020 season, and likely limited or no fans for at least the start of 2021, COVID-19 was cited as a reason for the layoffs.
“While the Dodgers had a championship season, the organization has not been immune from the widespread economic devastation caused by the coronavirus,” the Dodgers said in a statement released by a team spokesperson.
“Since March, we have worked hard to minimize the impact on our employees. The ongoing economic crisis, however, forces us to make difficult personnel decisions throughout the organization, going forward for the 2021 season. This is a heartbreaking decision. This year, more than ever, we are truly grateful for the role each member of our Dodgers family plays in our success.”
It’s hard reconciling calling someone family as they are being let go from said family, but here we are. It’s an ugly year.
Cutting costs is a trend across Major League Baseball this year, with various teams furloughing or laying off employees. Among the examples:
- The A’s in October laid off 20 percent of employees, per Shayna Rubin of the San Jose Mercury News.
- After the season, the Orioles laid off 11 employees and furloughed another 35 people, per Nathan Ruiz of the Baltimore Sun.
- The Cubs in September laid off 60 jobs in their business department, per Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune.
- Ten percent of the Giants’ full-time employees were laid off, per Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area.
- The Red Sox in September also laid off 10 percent of their full-time staff, per Chris Cotillo of Mass Live.
- In October, the Astros were planning layoffs and furloughs as well, per Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle.