Don Drysdale on “The Brady Bunch” and the tragic life of the first Mrs. Brady

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Don’t lie: you’ve done it. You’ve done exactly what Neil Genzlinger of the New York Times describes in this article from the other day:

Baseball fans, who seem to have more time to waste than normal people, love to compile All-This or All-That teams: lineups made of real players who meet some criterion. The All-Steroids Team. The All-Mustache Team. The idea is to find one player for each position who fits the category.

Genzlinger makes up one of his own: the All-TV-Cameo Team.  Players who made a walk-on appearance on some scripted television show.  Difficulty: no “Seinfeld” or “Simpsons” allowed. He also limits himself to only a couple California or New York players because that would be too easy.

Because of that rule he has neglected one of my favorites ever: Don Drysdale appearing on “The Brady Bunch,” telling Greg Brady that he could be a bonus baby, thereby causing Greg to big-time everyone and neglect his responsibilities.

I can’t remember the setup — maybe Mike was designing an addition for Drysdale’s home or something — but I did always wonder if he was related to Mike’s boss who, you will recall, was named “Mr. Drysdale.” Probably got a discount on Mike’s valuable architect services. Or maybe there is some elaborate back story we never knew about in which Drysdale himself was both a pitcher and an architect. That would be something. UPDATE: Crap. As noted in the comments below, I blew this one. Mr. Drysdale was on “The Beverly Hillbillies.” Mike’s boss, I am now remembering, was “Mr. Phillips.”  I think I’m just gonna quit for the day.

By the way: Wasn’t Greg just the biggest rube? Prone to suggestion. Remember how he stole the other high school football team’s playbook that time? Remember when he stole the other school’s mascot? All because someone told him he should. If his life didn’t end up with him being the wheel-man/fall-guy for a robbery of some kind I’d be shocked. Dude looked like he was gonna go through life never knowing quite what happened to him.

Probably expected, of course. I mean, his natural mother disappeared completely and was never spoken of again and was never any part of her sons’ lives. Just tragic, really. She probably ran off to join the Manson Family or something. L.A. in 1969 was a dark place for many people.

OK, baseball needs to come back or else I’m gonna do another 2,000 words on the social dysfunction and pathos of “The Brady Bunch.” Which is fine, but may get a bit uncomfortable and difficult when we get to Jan.

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.