Mr. Met fired for flipping the bird

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Last night Mr. Met made an obscene gesture to some fans. You can watch it here if you (a) can handle an obscene gesture; and (b) are not in a place where you will get in trouble for laughing so hard coffee shoots out of your nose.

While one might say that this was merely an instance of life imitating art given how obscenely bad the Mets have played of late, the club did not take it that way. They have fired Mr. Met.

Or, more specifically, they have fired the man who was in the Mr. Met suit last night and who flipped the bird. That according to the Associated Press, who learned about it from a Mets official who was speaking on condition of anonymity. It’s against team policy, you see, for anyone but top officials to speak on mascot-obscenity-related matters.

It’s hard to figure that the guy who plays Mr. Met makes a ton of money in the gig. And now that he’s been fired, it’s hard to imagine that we will not hear a lot more from him as he attempts to cash in on his infamy. Indeed, expect the man behind the bird to show up on talk radio and stuff, telling his side of the story, pretty darn soon.

Good bless that man. I wish him nothing but the best of luck in his future endeavors.

 

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.