Hang with me for a little while. What follows involves some incredibly heavy math, and to be honest, you might as well just step away now if you didn’t take (and pass) at least two statistics courses in college.
OK, here we go…
My idea for a better All-Star Game is to make the break four days long and play the game on Wednesday.
I know, it’s revolutionary.
But half of the teams in baseball invariably seem to have a four-day break anyway. There are just seven games today. There were also seven on the Thursday following the break last year. There were eight in 2009.
So, extend the break one extra day and play the game Wednesday. Suddenly, every pitcher who threw on the Sunday before the break is again eligible to pitch. That would have brought Justin Verlander, Felix Hernandez, Cole Hamels, Matt Cain and James Shields back into this year’s game.
Really, it seems like an easy call for baseball and I expect it to happen at some point within the next few years.
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.