The Phillies are featuring a famous Mets slogan on their clubhouse wall

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In 1973, the Mets won the N.L. pennant. Their slogan that year was ‘Ya Gotta Believe.” As Tyler Kepner of the New York Times points out, the Phillies have put that slogan on the wall of their clubhouse of their spring training facility down in Clearwater.

This year, on the wall of a hallway at their spring complex in Clearwater, Fla., the Phillies have honored their best teams with large photos of McGraw and Ryan Howard, a slugger for the 2008 World Series champions. Between the photos are the words “Ya Gotta Believe,” attributed to McGraw.

To be fair, as Kepner notes, that phrase was coined by Tug McGraw, then of the Mets but later, and for a longer period of time, a member of the Phillies. McGraw continued to use the phrase as something of a personal mantra and even titled his memoir with it, so I think it’s fair to say that he took ownership of it when he and the Mets divorced at the end of the 1974 season. In short: we’ll allow it.

Now, if the Braves unfurl a banner that says “Amazin’!” in Sun Trust Park on Opening Day there is a more substantive beef.

Here’s hoping they do it.

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.