President Jamie McCourt

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The latest from the McCourt divorce:

Jamie McCourt considered whether to parlay her high-profile position
with the Dodgers into the pursuit of political offices, including
president of the United States, according to documents filed by her
estranged husband in the couple’s divorce proceedings . . . In a December 2008 e-mail, Dodgers executive Charles Steinberg
presented her with “Project Jamie,” a seven-page action plan that
included this line: “Goal: Be Elected President of the United States.”

The dynamic in which the arrogant, idle rich treat political office as one of many jewels in the social crown and expect that it can be obtained by virtue of celebrity and networking alone is an old one, so there’s no sense in attacking it with gusto here. What I’m struck by is the fact that Ms. McCourt apparently had highly paid executives on the Dodgers payroll whose job, apparently, was to direct such vanity projects.

I know this divorce stinks for Dodgers fans, but look on the bright side: without it we wouldn’t be getting such an educational glimpse into the waste and extravagance afoot in the owners’ box of a major league baseball team.  While we may need to hold our noses while observing it, perhaps the McCourts’ example will prove useful the next time one of these plutocrats pleads poverty and tries to shake down city hall for something.

Rays’ Díaz gets $24 million, three-year deal, avoids arbitration

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Tampa Bay Rays infielder Yandy Díaz agreed to a $24 million, three-year contract on Tuesday that avoided a salary arbitration hearing.

Díaz’s agreement could be worth $36 million over four seasons.

The 31-year old will receive $6 million this season, $8 million in 2024 and $10 million for 2025. The 2026 club is $12 million with no buyout. There is a $1 million assignment bonus that would be payable by receiving team.

Díaz has spent parts of six seasons in the majors with Cleveland (2017-18) and Tampa Bay (2019-22). He has a career average of .278 with 39 home runs and 198 RBIs.

Acquired by the Rays in a three-team trade on Dec. 13, 2018, Díaz hit .296 with nine homers and 57 RBIs in 137 games last season, He career highs with 71 runs, 140 hits, 33 doubles, and 78 walks.

Díaz was the third Rays’ arbitration-eligible player to reach a deal.

Reliever Pete Fairbanks agreed Friday to a $12 million, three-year contract that could be worth up to $24.6 million over four seasons. The 29-year-old right-hander was 0-0 with a 1.13 ERA in 24 appearances last year after beginning the season on the 60-day injured list with a right lat strain.

Left-hander Jeffrey Springs also agreed last week to a $31 million, four-year contract that could be worth $65.75 million over five seasons.

The 30-year-old began last season in the bullpen and transitioned to the starting rotation in May and finished 9-5 with a 2.46 ERA in 33 appearances, including 25 starts.

Tampa Bay remains scheduled for hearings with right-handers Jason Adam and Ryan Thompson, left-hander Colin Poche, and outfielder Harold Ramírez.