Baseball may not be the true National Pastime anymore, but it’s still pretty darn popular. And it’s certainly universal enough to where every team has a celebrity fan or two. This can be a weird thing to think about. I mean, it’s hard to get my brain around the fact that, on any given night, there’s a decent chance that Jimmy Carter, Jeff Foxworthy, Petey Pablo and I are all tuned into a Braves game complaining about the same things. I’m sure your team has some funky famous fans too.
The Brewers sure do. Kato Kaelin! Who was interviewed by the Hall of Very Good blog about baseball and his love of the Brewers. Seems that Kato used to pitch. He said he threw a knuckle curve and was “the right-handed Ron Guidry.” He also thinks the Brewers should trade for Tim Lincecum. OK, then.
(hat tip to lar, who always finds the best stuff).
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.