File this under things I did not know:
Some American soldiers brought the game to Manipur [in northeastern India] during World War II and started a tradition that has lasted all these years handed down from family to family, making it perhaps the only place in India where baseball is played.
“I know that there are several women who are involved from one generation to the next over the years to keep it alive,” [Melissa] Leo said, “because “it really seems to help especially the youth to direct their energies and have a healthy outlet for them.”
There’s a documentary coming out about it called “The Only Real Game.” It was made by Mirra Bank and is narrated by Melissa Leo. It was shown at the New York Indian Film Festival over the weekend. I’m sure at some point we’ll be able to see it on Netflix or something. I love stuff like this, so I’m looking forward to it.
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.