Steve Carlton is a few cards short of a deck

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Steve Carlton had a 24-year career in Major League Baseball, 15 of which came with the Phillies between 1972 and 1986. He won four Cy Young awards in 1972, ’77, ’80, and ’82, and led the Phillies to their first ever championship in 1980. He also helped the Phillies back to the World Series in ’83 when they lost to the Baltimore Orioles.

Carlton was notorious during his playing career for his avoidance of the media. However, he wanted to get some good press out as he was on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time and agreed to speak with Pat Jordan of Philadelphia Magazine. It was with Jordan’s piece that we really found out the inner machinations of Lefty’s mind.

Deadspin republished the article today with postscripts from Jordan himself as well as editor Eliot Kaplan. If you have never read it, it is worth your time. Here is a snippet:

Built under the house is a 7,000-foot storage cellar. He’s stocked it with canned foods, bottled water, weapons. “Do you know if you store guns in PVC pipe, they can last forever underground without rusting?” he says.

He glanced sideways again. “The Revolution is definitely coming.” He believes in the Revolution, only he isn’t precisely sure which of a myriad of conspiratorial groups will begin it. Possibly, he says, it will be started by the Skull and Bones Society of Yale University. Or maybe the International Monetary Fund. Or the World Health Organization. There are so many conspiracies, and so little time. Sometimes all those conspiracies confuse him and he contradicts himself.

 

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.