Jason Miller/Getty Images

Indians choose to wear Chief Wahoo on Indigenous Peoples’ Day, get swept out of ALDS

89 Comments

Monday, October 8 marked Indigenous Peoples’ Day, a holiday celebrating the Indigenous peoples of America. The holiday was created as a counter-celebration of Columbus Day, which honors Christopher Columbus on the same day. Columbus, of course, was a much worse person than many of us were led to believe in school, and that’s putting it nicely.

Despite it being Indigenous Peoples’ Day, the Indians chose their home uniform brandishing the visage of the highly controversial mascot Chief Wahoo for Game 3 of the ALDS against the Astros on Monday at Progressive Field. We learned back in January that the Indians would no longer wear Wahoo on their uniforms starting next year — a great development, even if the impetus was commercial rather than moral. Despite the poor taste in uniform for Monday’s game, the Indians allowed the possibility for Wahoo’s last hurrah to be forever remembered as the day the Indians were swept out of the ALDS on Indigenous Peoples’ Day. That’s a bit on the nose. (Even more on the nose: the Braves also play on Monday and trail in the NLDS 2-1 to the Dodgers. They could also get eliminated on Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Karmic justice for continuing to use the “tomahawk chop.”)

The Astros rallied late to come from behind and defeat the Indians 11-3, punching their ticket to the ALCS and eliminating the Indians in the process. Wahoo is no more. All this having been said, the Astros’ victory on Monday is still bittersweet for anyone with morals as the Astros have their own shortcomings. Earlier this year, they went well out of their way to defend an alleged domestic abuser in closer Roberto Osuna. The ALCS will feature the Astros with Osuna as well as either the Red Sox or Yankees who have alleged abusers of their own (Steven Wright and Aroldis Chapman, respectively). I guess we’ll have to root for the meteor in the ALCS.

Diamondbacks, T.J. McFarland avoid arbitration

Mitchell Layton/Getty Images
2 Comments

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.