Mark Saxson of ESPN Los Angeles reports that Major League Baseball called the Los Angeles Angels last week to warn them that there could be riots in Oakland during this weekend’s series against the Athletics.
The reason: a verdict is due at any time in a high-profile trial of an Oakland transit officer who is accused of shooting an unarmed man on a train
platform. If the guy is acquitted there is some fear that violence could break out.
I know zero about that trial or the public sentiment in Oakland, but I always find that it takes me a minute or two to process stories in which baseball and ugly real life come together. On some level I operate on the phony assumption that baseball takes place in some virtual space. Most likely because I experience baseball through video screens 99% of the time.
The fact that I’m currently reading a book that takes place in some virtual reality-infused dystopia version of the Bay Area probably isn’t helping matters.
Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.
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.
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.