Game Three of the World Series to start before 7PM EDT

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For the first time in over 20 years, a World Series game is going to start before 7pm Eastern time.  It will be Game Three which, thanks to the good people at Chevrolet who kicked in some extra advertising scratch, will start at 6:57 p.m.

Game Three is scheduled for October 30th, and that’s a Saturday, so it won’t help you get to bed at a decent hour on a work/school night.  It will, however, provide you with a great excuse to not get up from the couch between the end of the afternoon college football games and the World Series. Usually that window is when my wife demands that I do things around the house like, I dunno, acknowledge the existence of the kids. Now I don’t have to.

One more good thing about it: since the NL will be the home team this year, Game Three will be played in an AL park. That means that the possibility of crazy late afternoon shadows in San Francisco — should the Giants make it that far — won’t be a problem. The farthest west the game could possibly be played is Texas, and 5:57 Central time should put it safely past the shadowlands.

One thing to watch, though: the ratings for the first hour.  I’m willing to bet that they’re a notch lower than the first hour of the other games this year. Which will just go to show that, though we all moan and complain about wanting playoff games to start earlier, more of us watch them in prime time than we would before prime time.

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.