The Diamondbacks are going to have to find something else on which to spend the $80 million they had mentally set aside for Japanese ace Yu Darvish, because he has decided to stay in Japan for the 2011 season. His blog post to that effect, translated by Yakyubaka.com:
A lot has been mentions about the Majors.
I received a lot of comments, both on Twitter and on my blog.
I don’t know if this will match everyone’s guess.
I will be wearing a Nippon Ham Fighters uniform.
And if you think I’m not going to adopt that exact format for every personal announcement I make for the rest of my career then you’re crazy.
In other news, check out Darvish’s personal blog — in Japanese — here. I don’t know that much about Darvish, but based on the name of the blog alone I think American baseball will be much poorer for not having him with us next season.
(link via WEEI)
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.