Today is Vin Scully’s birthday and the greatest announcer in baseball history turns 84 years old.
And come April he’ll begin his 63rd season as voice of the Dodgers.
I have no strong feelings about the Dodgers good or bad, yet season after season find myself choosing them as my late-night viewing several times per week simply because I love listening to Scully call the games.
Scully was already in his 70s by the time I got a chance to experience his announcing regularly, but he was so good then and remains so good now that it’s hard for me to even fathom how amazing he must have been in the 1950s and 1960s.
I also can’t imagine there ever being a better, classier, or more beloved announcer.
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.