I’m in the process of writing up a bunch of phony, snarky predictions for 2011 for the Rotoworld annual. It’s thus rather refreshing to read some actual predictions for 2011 that are backed by some genuine baseball thought. The thinker is Joe Sheehan, and some of his predictions are going to rile some of you:
- The Phillies will not be as dominant as you think;
- The Orioles will be a (sorta) contender;
- There will be tons of trades;
- No managers will be fired;
- Ticket prices will fall;
- There will be greater parity; and
- The Red Sox will win it all.
For the reasons — and I agree with more of them than I disagree with — you have to click the link. Good stuff.
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.