Juan Gonzalez

Must-click link: Breaking down Juan Gonzalez’s Hall of Fame brochure

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The other day I was minding my own business when Sam Miller of the Orange County Register and Baseball Prospectus Im’d me and asked me if I knew Juan Gonzalez’s nickname. I said “sure, Juan Gone.”  He said “know any others?”  I said “no, should I?”  He said “thanks.”  I probably should have known Sam was up to something.

That something is a pretty brilliant takedown of the ridiculous brochure that is making the rounds pumping up Gonzalez’s Hall of Fame candidacy.  A brochure which repeatedly refers to him as “Igor” as if anyone ever called him that ever. I mean, sure, someone did someplace, but it never stuck among baseball fans.  If that’s all it takes to claim a nickname I would have sent out brochures calling myself “Flapjack” or “Hi-top” or “T-bone” years ago.

Anyway, brilliant piece by Sam which should remind PR professionals that sometimes (read: every time) less is more. And nothing is often preferable.

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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Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.

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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.

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.