Joe Maddon bought himself a present with his contract extension money


Fresh off a three-year extension with the Rays, manager Joe Maddon decided to get himself “a new contract present.”

Maddon bought a 1956 Chevy BelAir in Arizona, had it restored and updated, and then got it shipped to Rays camp in Florida so he can drive it around spring training.

Maddon told Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times that he initially wanted a Charger or a Roadrunner or a Barracuda, but couldn’t find one and ended up choosing the BelAir over a 1957 Chevy Nomad.

According to Maddon his wife was “all for it” because “she’s kind of like a guy sometimes”:

She likes big flat-screen TVs, she likes watching football on Sundays, she likes fast cars, she used to drink martinis, though she kind of toned that down a bit. She’s got a lot of great man-cave qualities about her.

Congrats to Joe Maddon, for the car and everything else.

Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for Red Sox

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No surprise here: Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for the Red Sox, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports. The Red Sox open the season on March 29 in Tampa Bay against the Rays. Sale will oppose Chris Archer.

Sale, 28, is the fifth different Opening Day starter the Red Sox have had in as many years, preceded by Rick Porcello, David Price, Clay Buchholz, and Jon Lester. Sale started on Opening Day for the White Sox in 2013, ’14, and ’16.

Sale finished second in AL Cy Young Award balloting last year and finished ninth for AL MVP. He went 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA and a 308/43 K/BB ratio in 214 1/3 innings. Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strike out 300 or more batters in a season dating back to 2003.