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.
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.