Umpire admits blowing call Friday in Tigers-Braves game

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Yet another umpire has acknowledged blowing a call against the Tigers.

Manager Jim Leyland said Sunday that home plate umpire Gary Cederstrom admitted making an error just hours after ringing up Tigers outfielder Johnny Damon on a called third strike Friday.  The error spoiled a bases-loaded opportunity in the ninth inning as Detroit fell to the NL East-leading Braves. 

The Peter Moylan pitch was clearly outside, and Cederstrom recognized that in a chat on the phone with Leyland late Friday night.

“I kicked it,” the ump told Leyland.  “I knew it right away.”

Tigers starter Armando Galarraga had a perfect game stripped from his grasp in early June when umpire Jim Joyce blew a close call at the first base bag on what would have been the 27th and final out.  But, hey, at least the Tigers won that game.

Cederstrom made the controversial call Friday in a bases-loaded, full count situation, and with the Tigers trailing the Braves 4-3.  A walk would have tied the game.  These mistakes will continue to happen, of course, until Major League Baseball decides to expand its use of instant replay.

RHP Fairbanks, Rays agree to 3-year, $12 million contract

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Dave Nelson/USA TODAY Sports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Reliever Pete Fairbanks and the Tampa Bay Rays avoided arbitration when they agreed Friday to a three-year, $12 million contract that could be worth up to $24.6 million over four seasons.

The deal includes salaries of $3,666,666 this year and $3,666,667 in each of the next two seasons. The Rays have a $7 million option for 2026 with a $1 million buyout.

His 2024 and 2025 salaries could increase by $300,000 each based on games finished in the previous season: $150,000 each for 35 and 40.

Tampa Bay’s option price could increase by up to $6 million, including $4 million for appearances: $1 million each for 60 and 70 in 2025; $500,000 for 125 from 2023-25 and $1 million each for 135, 150 and 165 from 2023-25. The option price could increase by $2 million for games finished in 2025: $500,000 each for 25, 30, 35 and 40.

Fairbanks also has a $500,000 award bonus for winning the Hoffman/Rivera reliever of the year award and $200,000 for finishing second or third.

The 29-year-old right-hander is 11-10 with a 2.98 ERA and 15 saves in 111 appearances, with all but two of the outings coming out of the bullpen since being acquired by the Rays from the Texas Rangers in July 2019.

Fairbanks 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.

Fairbanks made his 2022 debut on July 17 and tied for the team lead with eight saves despite being sidelined more than three months. In addition, he is 0-0 with a 3.60 ERA in 12 career postseason appearances, all with Tampa Bay.

He had asked for a raise from $714,400 to $1.9 million when proposed arbitration salaries were exchanged Jan. 13, and the Rays had offered for $1.5 million.

Fairbanks’ agreement was announced two days after left-hander Jeffrey Springs agreed to a $31 million, four-year contract with Tampa Bay that could be worth $65.75 million over five seasons.

Tampa Bay remains scheduled for hearings with right-handers Jason Adam and Ryan Thompson, left-hander Colin Poche, third baseman Yandy Diaz and outfielder Harold Ramirez.