No, Ian Kinsler, you were not taken out of context

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It’s laughable that Ian Kinsler said that his disparaging comments about Jon Daniels and the Rangers — in which he called Daniels a “sleazeball” — were “kind of taken out of context.” I mean, if just doesn’t make sense because there’s no context in which “sleazeball” really looks good. But if you’re inclined to give him even a little benefit of the doubt, do so no longer.

Buster Olney talked to Robert Sanchez, who interviewed Kinsler and wrote the article about him. Sanchez explains that the “out of context” defense is pretty laughable:

“When I heard that I thought to myself, ‘I have dozens and dozens and dozens of pages of transcripts, of which about a quarter of it is Ian complaining about the Texas Rangers, how things went down, how upset he is about it and just blasting away at Daniels.’ And at some point in the interview, when you’re listening to this and you’re listening to the recording of it and then when you’re reading the transcripts of it, it’s overwhelming. You can’t avoid that part of it. So Ian might think it’s drama. To me, I saw it as Ian being Ian and Ian showing his true feelings.”

Sanchez said Kinsler brought up Daniels “over and over and over again” and that part of Kinsler’s m.o. over the course of his career has been to use slights, perceived or otherwise, to provide motivation for himself. That maybe he was doing that here.

Which, if that’s what he needs to do, great. But man, stand behind what you say. If you’re going to call someone out, don’t pretend you didn’t the day after the interview comes out. The “out of context” thing is beyond weak.

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.