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Matt Garza had his American League Championship ring stolen

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From the Fresno Bee comes word that burglars recently broke into Matt Garza’s Fresno County, California home and stole his 2008 American League championship ring which he earned while pitching with the Rays. The robbery happened at some point between January 26 and this morning.

The ring, which is engraved with Garza’s name and has several white diamonds and one yellow diamond, is valued at $30,000.

Garza was named the ALCS MVP in 2008 after going 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA with a 14/6 K/BB ratio over 13 innings against the Red Sox. The Rays went on to lose to the Phillies in the World Series in five games.

Garza and his current team, the Cubs, have an arbitration hearing scheduled for this Friday. The 28-year-old right-hander requested  $12.5 million and was offered $7.95 million from the Cubs when arbitration figures were exchanged earlier this month. Despite the sizable gap between the two sides, Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune reported earlier this evening that the Cubs are still hopeful of reaching a settlement prior to a hearing.

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.