Fresh off the franchise’s first ever World Series appearance, Rangers general manager Jon Daniels was named as Executive of the Year by Baseball America earlier today.
Here’s the man himself, via T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com:
“It’s really an organizational award — this is a huge operation involving the efforts of so many people,” Daniels said. “I’m just honored to be part of a really talented, creative group, and to accept this on behalf of everyone who works here. Hopefully this is just the beginning. Now we’ve got to find a way to get a little better, to get back there next year, and find a way to win those last three games.”
You won’t find any objections here. Of course, his signature move was swooping in and acquiring Cliff Lee from the Mariners when just about everybody thought he was going to the Yankees. It was a bold and surprising move which immediately transformed the Rangers into legitimate World Series contenders. But remember that he also operated under the uncertainty of bankruptcy and new ownership. Rangers fans should feel very encouraged about the direction of the franchise, regardless of whether they are able to keep Cliff Lee this winter.
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.
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.