Duke men’s basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski, speaking with the Chicago Tribune on the pressure of living up to his past success in the NCAA tournament:
“For a while when I dated my wife, I had trouble living up to the
expectations of her former boyfriend. Just judge people for who they are
right now. We’re not the Yankees, we’re not, thank goodness, the Cubs.
It’s different. It’s college, just give them an opportunity.”
Like ’em or not, Coach K-led squads have captured 12 ACC Championships, have reached 10 Final Fours and have captured three National Titles (in 1991, 1992, 2001). The Duke Blue Devils are certainly not “the Cubs,” who haven’t won a World Series since 1908 and failed to reach the playoffs last season despite a massive $134,809,000 payroll (figure courtesy of Cot’s Baseball Contracts).
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.