Tim Lincecum, a man of the people

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Tim Lincecum has had a rough season. At least for him.

His fastball velocity is down, his mechanics are out of sorts, and he’s thinking a little bit too much, which is only hurting the ballclub.

But on Tuesday in Philadelphia he didn’t let his on-field issues affect his attitude, going to great lengths to interact with his fans. OK, so he simply stood on a trash can to get up close and personal to sign some autographs.

Perhaps this shouldn’t be such a big deal. It’s not like he was balancing on the edge of a cliff to deliver food to starving children. And we know that Lincecum is hardly a choir boy.

But still, in this modern era of sports, where professional athletes are insulated more than ever from the common folk, many of them coddled, spoiled, and raised from an early age with an unreal sense of entitlement, there is something kind of cool about a two-time Cy Young winner standing on a trash can to give some face time to a few admirers. He didn’t have to do it, and many athletes wouldn’t.

Rock on, Timmy.

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Report: Rays nearing a deal with Shawn Tolleson

ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 18: Reliever Shawn Tolleson #37 of the Texas Rangers pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals in the eighth inning at Busch Stadium on June 18, 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
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Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.

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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.

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.