Watch MLB announcers mock the people who pay their salary

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During the Rockies-Dbacks game last night the broadcast cut back from a commercial and, as baseball broadcasts often do, the camera was focused on attractive young women in the stands. That the camera so often does that is a topic for another day, but let us just note that that was happening.

The women were all on their cell phones, taking selfies and such. Which was actually appropriate at the moment as the announcers were reading a T-Mobile promo asking fans to tweet photos of themselves at ballgames. That’s just synergy right there.

But then things got dumb. Watch the video of it here and listen to the broadcasters mock and complain about the women in the stands. And not just their acts. But their upbringing and all of that. Their disdain isn’t even remotely hidden. “Welcome to parenting in 2015!” Jokes about staging interventions. Comments like “I can’t even get MY phone to TAKE pictures,” as if that kind of ignorance is a good thing.

I have a daughter with a cell phone and I ain’t gonna lie: we don’t necessarily see eye-to-eye on technology’s highest and best use. But my folks think I’m addicted to my phone and the Internet and their folks thought they listened to too much rock and roll and their folks thought that the bobbysoxers were trouble and their folks thought that flappers would be the death of western civilization. Forty and 50-year-old men have been declaring that the younger generation is foolish since time began and this is no different. It says way more about the older generation than it says about the kids.

But that’s not my beef with this really. My beef is that a mobile company is, perhaps, Major League Baseball’s most visible sponsor. And that you can’t go an inning watching a baseball broadcast without the announcers telling you to text this or that to this or that company for a chance to win something, to download the official app of the whatever it is or, as here, to send your photos in for a chance to do something which, in reality, is to make MLB sponsors happy.

Put differently: people who are glued to their cell phones are paying an increasingly large part of these announcers’ salary. And the fact that they bought tickets and churros and everything else means they’re already putting a lot of money in baseball’s coffers.

Maybe don’t mock your customers so much?

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.