I saw a tweet a few minutes ago from the Padres’ MLB.com feed in which the writer said “fans have been asking about Wily Mo Pena” followed by some analysis on why it’s so hard to call him up right now. Which inspired two questions: (1) Wily Mo Pena is with the Padres?; and (2) He’s actually playing well enough to where people want to call him up?
And I’ll be damned if the answer to both of those questions isn’t yes. Pena is raking in Portland right now (signed by the Padres, Google tells me, last month after a stint in the independent Atlantic League). Only 19 games and 77 plate appearances so take it for what it’s worth, but he is hitting .377/.429/.609 with five homers.
This could just be a glitch in the matrix and nothing may come of it. But really, I figured we’d never hear from the guy again.
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.