New Jersey Governor Chris Christie: The Phillies “suck” and their ballpark is “unsafe”

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Even though a large part of the state he leads is in the Philadelphia metro area, New Jersey governor Chris Christie is no Philly sports fan. He roots for the Cowboys (and hates the Eagles) and he prefers the New York teams — Mets, Rangers and Knicks — to any of the professional sports teams that play in his state (or used to play in his state) or in Philly.

But geez, man, ya gotta be so obnoxious about it, Chris? From CSNPhilly.com:

Christie appeared on SNY TV on Wednesday night to talk about the New York Mets, another awful team he is a fan of. The topic of Philadelphia came up.

“The Phillies suck. Let’s just start with that,” Christie said. “They’re from Philadelphia. They’re an awful team. They’re an angry, bitter fan base and it’s not safe for civilized people to go to Citizens Bank Park if you want to root for the other team. Ya gotta believe what? Ya gotta believe we’re awful people.”

That last comment was apparently based on the Phillies painting the old 1973 Mets slogan, “Ya Gotta Believe” on their clubhouse wall down in Clearwater. Which, as I noted yesterday, is fine given the Tug McGraw connection, but we’ll leave that go.

I think most of you who have been around here for a while will remember that I am no fan of the Phillies and that, back when Phillies fans were rooting for a winning team, feeling their oats and talking big in the HBT comments every day, I liked to bait them a good deal. 100% guilty as charged. I’d like to think, however, that I was a bit more artful and less bile-and-spittle-spewingly crass about it than Christie is here.

In related news, there is a lot of speculation that Christie will be soon be brought on board the Trump Administration in order to calm things down. Seems right.

UPDATE:

Jeffrey Springs, Rays agree to $31 million, 4-year contract

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Left-hander Jeffrey Springs became the first of the 33 players who exchanged proposed arbitration salaries with their teams to reach a deal, agreeing Wednesday to a $31 million, four-year contract with the Tampa Bay Rays that could be worth $65.75 million over five seasons.

The 30-year old was among seven Rays who swapped arbitration figures with the team on Jan. 13. He began last season in the bullpen, transitioned to the starting rotation in May and finished 9-5 with a 2.46 ERA in 33 appearances, including 25 starts. He is 14-6 with a 2.70 ERA in 76 outings – 51 of them in relief – since he was acquired from Boston in February 2021.

Springs gets $4 million this year, $5.25 million in 2024 and $10.5 million in each of the following two seasons. Tampa Bay has a $15 million option for 2027 with a $750,000 buyout.

The 2025 and 2026 salaries can escalate by up to $3.75 million each based on innings in 2023-24 combined: $1.5 million for 300, $1 million for 325, $750,000 for 350 and $500,000 for 375. The `25 and ’26 salaries also can escalate based on finish in Cy Young Award voting in `23 and ’24: $2 million for winning, $1.5 million for finishing second through fifth in the voting and $250,000 for finishing sixth through 10th.

Tampa Bay’s option price could escalate based on Cy Young voting in 2025 and 2026: by $2.5 million for winning, $2 million for finishing second through fifth and $500,000 for sixth through 10th.

Springs would get $45.25 million if the option is exercised, $52.75 million with the option and meeting all innings targets and the maximum if he meetings the innings targets and wins two Cy Youngs.

Springs’ ERA last season was the second lowest in franchise history for a pitcher working a minimum of 100 innings. Former Rays ace Blake Snell compiled 1.89 ERA on the way to winning the 2018 AL Cy Young.

In addition to finishing sixth in the AL in ERA, Springs allowed three runs or fewer in 22 of 25 starts and two runs or fewer 17 times. He joined Tampa Bay’s rotation on May 9, gradually increasing his workload over his next six appearances. Springs was 6-3 with a 2.40 ERA in 14 starts after the All-Star break.

Arbitration hearings start next week and the Rays remain with the most players scheduled to appear before three-person panels.

Springs had asked for a raise from $947,500 to $3.55 million and had been offered $2.7 million. Tampa remains scheduled for hearings with right-handers Jason Adam, Pete Fairbanks and Ryan Thompson, left-hander Colin Poche, third baseman Yandy Diaz and outfielder Harold Ramirez.

Tampa Bay also agreed minor league contacts with catcher Gavin Collins and right-hander Jaime Schultz, who will report to major league spring training.

Infielder Austin Shenton and pitchers Anthony Molina and Joe LaSorsa also were invited to big league spring training.