Buster Posey schadenfreude? No, that’s taking it too far

30 Comments

I said in the recaps this morning that I think the tone of mourning that has surrounded Buster Posey’s injury is a bit much. But in my mind it’s preferable to this, from the AZ Snakepit blog:

But, let’s be brutally honest. While on one level, it’s a terrible thing, there’s a dark corner of just about every non-Giant fan which woke up this morning, read that Posey could be out for the season and gave a little fist-pump. Because their team’s chances of dethroning the Giants as World Series champions just got a little bit better.

There is a lot of ground between the extremes of sappy “we’re all Giants fans today”-style blather and “fist bumps” over a guy’s leg being bent like a piece of licorice. Like say, the intellectual acknowledgment that, yes, the Giants’ competitive position took a hit on Wednesday night and a raised eyebrow of optimism at, say, the Diamonbacks’ or Rockies’ chances. Which happens to be true and does not require any value-judgment about a person’s injury.

I think the difference between those two things is not so much about being a good person or being a bad person as much as it is having some sort of distance between one’s emotions and one’s rooting interest.  Which is to say, I don’t think this writer or anyone else who goes the “fist bumps” route is doing so because they’re evil. Rather, they’re simply doing so because they’re way too invested in their baseball team to allow for basic decency to enter into the equation to trump the tribalism on display in the linked piece.

There’s nothing less appealing in sports fans than when they fail to realize that there’s a life outside of who they root for. Don’t be that guy, OK?

Diamondbacks, T.J. McFarland avoid arbitration

Mitchell Layton/Getty Images
2 Comments

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.