In 1939 Lou Gehrig claimed that young players then had it easy compared to when he came up


Hey Ryne Sandberg: Lou Gehrig has your back regarding kids these days not having to work as hard as you did. His argument came over 75 years ago, but I’m sure you’re both right somehow:


For those who can’t watch the video now, the first question put to the Iron Horse was whether baseball was played differently in 1939 than when it was when he was coming up in the 1920s. His answer:

“Well that’s a difficult question. I think it was played harder and was made more difficult for the young man years ago than it is today. The young man, 15-20 years ago when I broke in had to go out and fight his way for a job. And the young man today is surrounded with the old timers’ advice and experience. So you can see readily where the difference lies.”

As noted above, Ryne Sandberg was said to be disappointed with young players’ work ethic while managing the Phillies. Last month when I interviewed Al Kaline he made a point to tell me that when he broke into the bigs in the 1950s it was much harder than it is for players today, precisely for the same reasons Gehrig said in 1939: Veterans ignored you, you were on your own and had to fight for your place on the team whereas, in 2015, Tigers veterans routinely welcome and mentor young players.

Nothing ever changes in baseball, of course. Or in life for that matter. It was always done better and was much harder to do when the speaker had to do it than when people do it now, no matter what the doing is.

(h/t to SABR)

Rays’ Yandy Díaz gets three-year, $24 million deal to avoid arbitration

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Tampa Bay Rays infielder Yandy Díaz agreed to a three-year, $24 million contract 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.