Drama in Boston: Chris Sale throws behind Manny Machado, Machado sounds off

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Orioles-Red Sox has had enough drama to rival a Shakespeare play. Last night, Boston fans directed racial slurs at O’s outfielder Adam Jones. Before that, the two sides squabbled because third baseman Manny Machado slid hard into second baseman Dustin Pedroia, causing an injury. Red Sox reliever Matt Barnes threw a fastball at Machado’s head two days later, earning him an immediate ejection and later a four-game suspension.

The drama continued on Tuesday night as the two clubs began the second game of a four-game series in Boston. The Fenway faithful gave Jones a standing ovation as he stepped to the plate for his first at-bat, and starter Chris Sale stepped off the mound to allow Jones the moment. Watch:

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The good will was immediately erased. After Sale struck out Jones, the lefty threw his first pitch to Machado behind his knees. Sale might have been retaliating not just for Machado’s slide into Pedroia, but because O’s starter Dylan Bundy hit Mookie Betts with a pitch on Monday. It didn’t appear to be intentional.

Despite this, home plate umpire D.J. Reyburn issued warnings to both teams. And despite the rest of the game going off without much drama, Machado was incensed about it after the game:

This is far from over, methinks. The clubs meet again tomorrow night at 7:10PM.

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.