Bud Selig

Potential candidates to replace Bud Selig

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The other day I noted that there was no clear successor to Bud Selig when he steps down at the end of 2012.  From my lips to Maury Brown’s keyboard, for today he runs down some of the possibilities over at The Biz of Baseball.

None of the candidates Maury mentions are bad. Sandy Alderson and Stan Kasten are smart guys and smart is good. Rob Manfred has been in the trenches and that works. While the idea of Andy MacPhail troubles me a bit inasmuch as no one would probably be talking too seriously about him if he didn’t come from a family line of executives, he has been in the sorts of jobs that would give him experience here. A legacy-saved, let’s call him.

Ultimately, though, brains aren’t going to trump everything. Or even be the most important thing. Not saying Selig isn’t smart — he is — but his biggest skill is in consensus building among the ownership group. It’s what allows him to basically do anything he wants. Making the owners mad is what causes coups. Coups like the one that brought Selig into power in the first place.

Which makes me wonder if another current owner isn’t the most likely replacement. Someone who saw that Selig moved on from the Brewers, made a tidy profit on his team and then made a healthy freakin’ salary for nearly 20 years on top of it, all the while transforming his legacy from used car salesman to one of the preeminent sports executives of all time.

Whatever happens, it will be fun to watch.

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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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.

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.