Potent quotables: Lincecum wants starting nod

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It would mean a lot — the hard
work paid off. If I do happen to start, it will make up for the fact I
didn’t even make it to the field last year.”

– Tim Lincecum, who missed last year’s All-Star game due to illness, would love to start for the National League this year.
He extended his career-best scoreless streak to 23 innings in a 9-0 win
over the Astros on Saturday. The All-Star rosters will be announced
today at 1 p.m. ET.

“Johnny and I have a great
relationship. I’m glad he called and apologized. I’ve always respected
his opinion. But he’s not in here on a day-to-day basis, so he can’t
really know what’s going on.

– David Wright acknowledges John Franco’s apology. The former Mets closer questioned Wright’s leadership in an interview with Sirius XM last week.

“Give the young man a chance. I know
he’s struggled, but let’s give him a chance. He’s done it in the past,
and there’s no reason he can’t get it done now. Let’s not look at this
every at-bat, every game. Let’s sit back and watch this and see what
happens.”

– Lou Pinella has some supportive words for Alfonso Soriano.
Moved to sixth in the batting order, Soriano is hitless over his last
four games to drop his batting average to a season-low .223.

“We just want him right when he comes
back. As long as he feels good, that’s all that matters. It’s hard to
predict. We just gotta wait and see how he’s doing. If that means a
couple of extra days, it’s another couple of days.”

– Ron Washington comments on Josh Hamilton’s rehab.
He is 2-for-20 in a four-game rehab stint and could join the Rangers
this week. The slugger underwent successful surgery on a torn abdominal
muscle on June 9.

“You hate to put labels on guys, but he has a chance to be someone very special.”

– David Eckstein thinks rookie shortstop Everth Cabrera has the goods.
The 22-year-old was 2-for-3 with three RBI, including a go-ahead RBI
single, in a 7-4 win over the Dodgers on Saturday. Cabrera is batting
.306 with eight RBI, four stolen bases and 14 runs scored in his first
62 major-league at bats. He was a Rule 5 selection from the Rockies
organization in December.

President Obama pardons Willie McCovey

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - APRIL 06:  San Francisco Giants legend Willie McCovey  waves to the crowd while seating between Jeff Kent (L) and Willie Mays during a ceremony honoring Buster Posey for winning the 2012 National League MVP before the Giants game against the St. Louis Cardinals at AT&T Park on April 6, 2013 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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The big presidential pardon news today concerns the commutation of Chelsea Manning’s sentence. We’ll leave that aside. For our purposes, know that someone in the world of baseball was pardoned: Willie McCovey.

Yes, Hall of Famer Willie McCovey, who in 1995 pleaded guilty to income tax fraud related to the non-reporting of income received from memorabilia and autograph shows. Duke Snider pleaded guilty alongside McCovey. They were given two years probation and fines of $5,000. Snider died in 2011. McCovey still works with the San Francisco Giants as a senior advisor and goodwill ambassador.

President Obama’s release of McCovey’s pardon was pretty succinct. But it’s enough to scrub the record of one of the greatest sluggers of all time.

 

Jake Diekman will miss at least half of the 2017 season

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 9: Jake Diekman #41 of the Texas Rangers works against the Toronto Blue Jays in the sixth inning during game three of the American League Division Series at Rogers Centre on October 9, 2016 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
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Rangers reliever Jake Diekman will have surgery on January 25 to help alleviate ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease. As a result, the lefty will miss at least half of the 2017 regular season, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. Diekman was diagnosed with the illness when he was 11 years old. He has brought awareness to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America with a “Gut It Out” campaign.

Diekman, who turns 30 years old on Saturday, finished the 2016 campaign with a 3.40 ERA and a 59/26 K/BB ratio in 53 innings. He came to the Rangers from the Phillies in the Cole Hamels trade on July 31, 2015.

The Rangers and Diekman avoided arbitration last Friday, agreeing to a $2.55 million salary for the 2017 season.