Marlins tickets are selling like hotcakes

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For next year, that is, not this year:

A section of premium seats behind home plate in the Florida Marlins’ new ballpark has sold out.

The Marlins said Monday that all 379 diamond club seats have been bought for when the team moves into the park next year. The team says a majority of dugout club seats behind the first- and third-base lines have been sold.

I’m sure the new place will draw well, at least for a while. Based on my walk around the building site last year it still seems like a logistical nightmare to get in and out of the place due to the limited freeway access and the fact that it’s closer to narrow neighborhood streets as opposed to main thoroughfares and given that public transportation is limited.  But at least it’s closer to the city and the money and all of that.  Plus it really does look like it will be a pretty ballpark when it’s all done.

Here’s an idea: the Marlins should give, like, five pound bricks of free tickets to 2011 games up at the old place to whoever buys season tickets for the new place for 2012.  Get some future die-hard Marlins fans acquainted with the team. Sell some beer.

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.