Look, I’m not saying that the guy had the simplest decision in the world in front of him. And to hear him describe it during the radio interview he did at WFAN, things were pretty hectic around the time he decided to give the ball back to Derek Jeter. Security had hustled him out of his seat and into the bowels of the stadium. They were asking him point blank what he wanted for the ball and everything. No, it wasn’t like they had him in thumb screws or anything, but I can see how the situation may not have been comfort city.
Still, when he answered the following question the way he did, the fact that he gave up a ball that could have meant a couple hundred thousand dollars is all the more facepalm worthy than we first thought:
Is it true your girlfriend jokingly wanted you to keep the ball so you could pay off student loans?
“Yeah I am a couple of hundred thousand dollars in debt thanks to St.Lawrence University. I mean it’s crazy.”
But hey, Jeter has his baseball back, so I guess it’s all OK.
Oh, and if you haven’t voted in our poll yet, please do so. As I write this, “auctioned the ball off to the highest bidder” is trouncing “give the ball back to Jeter” among HBT readers.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Pirates will sign reliever Felipe Rivero to a four-year contract extension that includes two club options. The total value of the deal is believed to be $22 million and each club option is worth $10 million.
Rivero, 26, did not come to an agreement with the Pirates to avoid arbitration in his first year of eligibility ahead of last Friday’s deadline. He requested a $2.9 million salary for the 2018 season while the Pirates countered at $2.4 million. This extension will cover all four years of Rivero’s arbitration eligibility and the two club options can cover his first two years of free agency as well.
Rivero was one of baseball’s best relievers last season, finishing with 21 saves, a 1.67 ERA, and an 88/20 K/BB ratio in 75 1/3 innings. The Pirates acquired him from the Nationals along with minor leaguer Taylor Hearn ahead of the 2016 non-waiver trade deadline in the Mark Melancon deal.
Presumably, Rivero’s extension was in the works before he knew anything about the Andrew McCutchen trade. He made a couple of tweets following this afternoon’s news. In one, he used only the “facepalm” emoji. The other was a .gif of The Office character Jim Halpert yelling, “What is going on?”