Worst fan: Sox fan ripped home run ball out of woman’s hand, taunted other with racist remarks

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I couldn’t believe what I saw after Alex Avila’s home run last night. If you were following the game online you no doubt saw it too, as video of it quickly went viral. A fan in the right field stands ripped the home run ball out of the hands of the woman who came up with it and threw it back on the field.

Amanda Rykoff captured it on Vine. Click to animate:

Thankfully, not long after it happened, word started to circulate that the fan was ejected from Fenway. Which, good. He’s lucky that he wasn’t arrested and charged with assault & battery. I mean, there’s no effective difference between him taking the ball from the woman’s hands and throwing it like that than taking her cell phone or something.

But it gets worse! Jeff Passan of Yahoo! spoke to fans in the section where this took place and reports that, before he was ejected, the fan taunted a black Tigers fan sitting nearby all game with racial slurs, including calling him “Trayvon Martin” and “Prince Fielder’s crackhead brother.” He also told another black Tigers fan to “go back to the ghetto.” This was confirmed by several fans sitting in that section.

Man, what an utter piece of garbage.

Noah Syndergaard: ‘I feel like I’m going to bet (on) myself in free agency’

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Yankees starter Luis Severino and Phillies starter Aaron Nola both signed contract extensions within the last week. Severino agreed to a four-year, $40 million contract with a 2023 club option. Nola inked a four-year, $45 million deal with a 2023 club option.

While the deals both represented significant raises and longer-term financial security for the right-handed duo, some feel like the players are selling themselves short. It has become a more common practice for players to agree to these types of deals in part due to how stagnant free agency has become. Get the money while you can.

Mets starter Noah Syndergaard is in a similar situation as Severino and Nola were. He and the Mets avoided arbitration last month, agreeing on a $6 million salary for the 2019 season. He has two more years of arbitration eligibility left. A contract extension with the Mets would presumably cover both of those years plus two or three years of what would be free agent years. As Tim Britton of The Athletic reports, however, Syndergaard plans to test free agency when the time comes.

Syndergaard said, “I trust my ability and the talent that I have. So I feel like I’m going to bet (on) myself in free agency and not do what they did. But if it’s fair for both sides and they approach me on it, then maybe we can talk.” He clarified that he would be open to a conversation about an extension, but the Mets thus far haven’t approached him about it. In his words, “There’s been no traction.”

Syndergaard, 26, has been one of baseball’s better starters since debuting in 2015. He owns a career 2.93 ERA with 573 strikeouts and 116 walks in 518 1/3 innings. Among pitchers to have logged at least 400 innings since 2015 and post a lower ERA are Clayton Kershaw (2.22), Jacob deGrom (2.66) and Max Scherzer (2.71). Syndergaard made only seven starts in 2017 yet still ranks seventh among pitchers in total strikeouts since 2015.

If Sydergaard doesn’t end up signing an extension, he will be entering free agency after the 2021 season. The collective bargaining agreement expires in December 2021 and a new one will likely be agreed upon around that time. Syndergaard will hopefully have better prospects entering free agency then than players do now.