I am here today to apologize for a huge mistake I made during the first half of the season in 2009. I am not here to make excuses. There are none. I am not here to ask for sympathy. That would be asking too much.
I fully understand that I disappointed a lot of people–my family, my players, coaches, as well as the team’s leadership, especially Nolan Ryan and Jon Daniels, as well as young people who may have looked up to me. I am truly sorry for my careless, dangerous, and frankly, stupid, behavior last year. Clearly, you have never seen me speak from a script before. But this is a time that I need to get the words exactly right.
Here’s the biggest question: how and why did this happen? That’s a question I have had to face in numerous sessions with counselors. I’ve learned a lot about myself personally, and I recognize that this episode was an attempt to dodge personal anxieties and personal issues I needed to confront. That was the wrong way to do it. It was self-serving, and believe me, not worth it.
I know you will ask, and so here’s the answer: this was the one and only time I used this drug. I made a huge mistake, and it almost caused me to lose everything I have worked for all of my life. Shortly after I did this, MLB notified me that I would have a routine drug test. Before even taking the test, I notified the league about the drug use. Right after that test, I told Jon Daniels and Nolan Ryan about my shameful behavior. I offered them my resignation.
They asked a lot of difficult questions. Remarkably, these two men, after a lot of thought and prayer, allowed me to stay here through last season. However, they also directed me to immediately begin MLB’s drug treatment program, which is a thorough and exhaustive process, and it includes the administration of drug tests at least three times a week. I am proud to report to you that I have completed that program. I am not proud to admit this terrible error.
This morning, I talked to our players. I assured them that this will never happen again, and I asked them to forgive me. In the true spirit of a “team,” they seemed to embrace me not only as a manager but as a human being. I won’t let you down again. Please know that I will personally take on the challenge of telling young people my story and my mistake. I don’t know what form that will take, but I am committed to do that.
I am hopeful that our fans, both Rangers fans and Major League Baseball fans, will accept this heartfelt and humble attempt to say: I’m so sorry for what I did.
Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.
It’s not known yet what kind of contract the two sides are negotiating. It could be a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, a non-guaranteed major league contract, or a guaranteed major league contract.
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.