Selig pretends he just learned about McGwire's steroid use

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Sports Business Daily caught up with Bud Selig at the owners’ meetings yesterday and got a couple of additional quotes from him about McGwire:

“My public statement, which I wrote over and over and over, says
exactly how I feel on the matter. I just don’t want to add to that. I
painstakingly went over it.” Selig added he drafted the statement while
watching the Packers-Cardinals playoff game Sunday night, and that he
knew about McGwire’s past with steroids “beforehand, but not by much.

Not by much? Those words you keep using; I do not think they mean what you think they mean:

Stejskal said federal authorities, through their undercover operation,
learned of McGwire’s steroid usage by 1993. A year later, Stejskal
recalled that he shared information from the investigation related to
baseball players with Major League Baseball’s then security boss, Kevin
Hallinan, though the sport had no drug testing program at the time.

Of course, when you’re as old as Selig is, I suppose 16 years goes by in the blink of an eye.

Diamondbacks, T.J. McFarland avoid arbitration

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Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports that the Diamondbacks and reliever T.J. McFarland have avoided arbitration, agreeing on a $1.45 million salary for the 2019 season. McFarland, in his third of four years of arbitration eligibility, filed for $1.675 million while the Diamondbacks countered at $1.275 million. McFarland ended up settling for just under the midpoint of those two figures.

McFarland, 29, was terrific out of the bullpen for the D-Backs last season, finishing with a 2.00 ERA and a 42/22 K/BB ratio in 72 innings. While the lefty may not miss a lot of bats, he does induce quite a few grounders. His 67.9 percent ground ball rate last season was the third highest among relievers with at least 50 innings, trailing only Brad Ziegler (71.1%) and Scott Alexander (70.6%).

McFarland was dominant against left-handed hitters, limiting them to a .388 OPS last season, but the D-Backs deployed him nearly twice as often against right-handed hitters, who posted an aggregate .764 OPS against him. It will be interesting to see if the club decides to use him more as a platoon reliever in 2019.