Joe Buck reveals that his vocal cords were damaged due to his hair plug addiction

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I realize that headline sounds a bit . . . weird. But that’s really what happened.

Fox’s lead baseball broadcaster Joe Buck reveals as much in his upcoming memoir, excerpted by Richard Deitsch at Sports Illustrated. Buck famously suffered vocal cord damage back in 2011, which left his voice weak for some time. He claimed that it was due to a virus but reveals in is upcoming book that that was a lie. It was damaged by a protective cuff used while he was under anesthetic for a hair plug procedure. His eighth such procedure:

As a young man, one of Buck’s overwhelming fears was losing his hair, and the possibility soon consumed him. So at age 24, in Oct. 1993, he flew to New York City to get his first hair replacement treatment. He writes that, after the procedure, “I, Joseph Francis Buck, became a hair-plug addict.”

Buck said that whenever he had a break in his schedule—usually between the end of the NFL season and the start of baseball—he would fly to New York to have a plug procedure. The one in 2011 resulted in a surgical cuff resting on his neck and damaging his vocal cord.

Buck calls his addiction to hair plugs “pure vanity.” He also notes that, at the time of the procedure which damaged his vocal cords, his was marriage was breaking up and he was on antidepressants as well, all of which could’ve contributed to the nerve damage and, even if not, certainly entailed stress. He says he’s revealing all of this now because, rather than just write a book about sports and broadcasting stories, he wanted to share something personal. To talk about difficulties he dealt with.

He says the reason behind it all —  his vanity — is embarrassing. But it certainly is brave of him to share this.

RHP Fairbanks, Rays agree to 3-year, $12 million contract

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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.