Even though they met in the World Series nearly 22 years ago, the Twins-Braves series still stirs up some emotions in partisans of each team. Mostly Braves fans, to be honest, as we are bitter and angry and all of that stuff even more than two decades later. Freakin’ Kent Hrbek. Freakin’ Kirby Puckett. Freakin’ Lonnie Smith. Heck, on some days we’d even take the Game 7 loss OK if it didn’t form the basis for, like, 89% of Jack Morris’ Hall of Fame case. Just bad all around.
Their series this week continued some of that sentiment, with the Twins taunting the Braves by hanging a Kent Hrbek jersey from the press box, with the Twins Twitter taunting the Braves about it:
After today’s 8-3 win by the Braves, the Atlanta Twitter feed taunted back:
The Twins fired back:
Fine. Enjoy your ancient World Series trophy. [kicks dirt, curses Hrbek, Puckett, Smith and Morris, takes solace in the fact that his baseball team doesn’t stink]
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.