Marginal celebrities are not concerned about the Red Sox

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I think everyone who works in baseball is tired of talking about whether the Red Sox will turn it around.  So it’s nice that some people from the larger world of entertainment are picking up the slack.

First comes a guy who I wouldn’t have guessed would have an ESPN column someday, former Guns ‘N Roses bassist Duff McKagan:

But before any of us gets a little too far ahead of ourselves, let’s just remember that we are only 10 games into the season. Before we state that the Cleveland Indians are going all of the way, or that the Red Sox are already out of it, let us remember how small of a fraction this first 10 games is to the rest of the season.

Actually, McKagan’s column is a lot better than what a lot of full-time sports columnists pass off. Which is the dirty little secret of sports writing, even if it shouldn’t be a secret: all you really need is to (a) know sports; and (b) be able to write.  There aren’t some other magical requirements. And in no case do having other such magical requirements make up for not knowing sports and not knowing how to write. So if you want to be a sports writer, just get in the ring. It’s so easy!

More troubling are the comments of one Charlie Sheen. Who has a long and established track record of knowing baseball, but who has become something less than a reliable analyst on a host of matters in recent months.  What say you about the Bosox, Charlie?

“I’d tell everybody to shut up, that they’ll bounce back. It’s a long season and there’s a ton of talent there and a really bitchin’ hitter’s park they play in. Relax.”

In other words, the Red Sox are totally screwed.

Now, I’m off to see what Kirk Cameron and Mr. T. have to say about John Lackey’s velocity.

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.