Irony alert: Reggie Jackson tells an athlete to be quiet and humble

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I don’t give a pair of fetid dingo’s kidneys about the NFL playoffs and — certain strokes of unadulterated genius aside — don’t care if the Jets beat the Patriots this weekend or vice-versa.  But Mr. October Reggie Jackson does. And he’s had it with the trash-talking of the Jets’ Antonio Cromartie:

Former New York Yankees’ legend Reggie Jackson ripped Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie on Thursday, telling him to, “Shut up and play football.”
The slugger, a guest on ESPN 1050 in New York, didn’t hold back when it came to talking about Cromartie, who called Patriots quarterback Tom Brady an “ass——.”

“What are you talking about? What are you doing? Shut up, play football,” Jackson said. “What are you talking about [Patriots coach] Bill Belichick and these people for? Spend your time looking at film, spend your time knocking down a pass. What are you doing? You’re not affecting Brady; you’re wasting time.”

…“Go look at the hardware, dude. Walk through the lobby up there and look at the stuff that’s there,” Jackson said. “You don’t have that, you don’t have anything close to that.

“You might want to shut up, you might learn something. Read, you might figure something out. Watch film, you might get educated. If not, you have a chance to get embarrassed on Sunday. I hope you don’t, because I like the Jets.”

Stuff Reggie Jackson is credited with saying during his career:

  • “After Jackie Robinson the most important black in baseball history is Reggie Jackson, I really mean that.”
  • “I am the best in baseball.”
  • “Fans don’t boo nobodies.”
  • “I didn’t come to New York to be a star, I brought my star with me.”
  • “I’d like to be able to light the fire a little bit.”
  • “The only reason I don’t like playing in the World Series is I can’t watch myself play.”
  • “This team, it all flows from me. I’m the straw that stirs the drink. Maybe I should say me and Munson, but he can only stir it bad.”

Hey, I think that kind of bravado is great fun, and I wouldn’t have Reggie Jackson any other way. But really, he’s the last dude that should be telling anyone to “shut up and play.”

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.