Welcome to St. Jetersburg

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The New York Times has a feature on the outrageously large house Derek Jeter has built down in Tampa. Cost?! No man can say!

The 30,875-square-foot mansion, which overlooks Hillsborough Bay, features seven bedrooms, nine bathrooms, a pool, two boat lifts, a drive-through portico and a pair of three-car garages flanking the north and south ends of the property.

Look, I know he has more money than God and is the biggest star in baseball over the past 20 years or so, but on what planet does a single guy with no kids need a 30,875-square-foot mansion?

Sometimes my wife and I play the “what would we do if we won $200 million in the Powerball” game.  It almost always involves a relatively human-scale yet fortified compound that is generally hidden from civilization.

Why anyone would want to build a giant, gleaming white house that fronts a public thoroughfare like Jeter’s does is beyond me. But it certainly does make all of the “Derek Jeter is a humble and private man” stuff that tends to get written about him seem rather silly. He can do whatever he wants, of course, but  there is nothing at all private or humble about this Xanadu he has constructed.

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.