College football will test the Yankee Stadium turf today

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Rutgers fans and New Yorkers will likely remember how the turf at Yankee Stadium didn’t do too well for college football when a game was played their last month.  Today the Pinstripe Bowl will be played — Rutgers again — and the New York Times has a story about all the precautions being taken to ensure that everyone’s footing is better off than it was.

I know the old Yankee Stadium had a storied past as a home for football and I know that they’ve played football in new Yankee Stadium for the past couple of years.  But egad, it bothers me to see something as exquisite and sublime as a baseball field being used for something as crass as football.

It’s like playing racquetball in an art museum.

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.