Phil Garner

Must-click link: cheesecake pictures of early 80s baseball stars

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I guess whether this is truly “must-click” depends on how you roll. But if you like to look at once-young, once-handsome athletes in swimsuits, towels and, in a couple of cases, nothing but strategically-posed thighs — or if you’re not necessarily into that but are secure enough in your masculinity to appreciate how hilarious such pics truly are — you wanna go read Michael Clair’s guest post at Baseball Prospectus:

Perhaps lost amidst the frenzy of cocaine, the advent of the CD player, and the soulful tunes of After the Fire, during the early 1980s Playgirl magazine convinced a number of baseball stars to pose seductively within their pages.

Michael has it all: Steve McCatty unasahmed of his budding love handles. George Brett, seductively posing beneath a palm frond. Disco Dan Ford in a sauna. Jerry Remy in a swimsuit. Phil Garner in short-shorts. Rickey Henderson in short-short-short shorts. Steve Stone as naked as the day he was born.

You might say you don’t want to click. But you do. C’mon. You do. We won’t think anything less of you. Open your mind to Jerry Remy’s sexiness. C’mon, OPEN IT.

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.