Cal Ripken Jr. can go ahead and pop some bubbly.
As noted by MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat, Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro is not in the starting lineup for Tuesday night’s game against the Brewers. It is the first time he’s been absent from Chicago’s order in the last 269 games, which was the longest active consecutive starts streak in the National League.
Castro is batting .228/.264/.318 with three home runs and 24 RBI in 326 plate appearances this season for the Cubs. He hit .283/.323/.430 with 14 homers in 2012 and .307/.341/.432 with 10 homers in 2011.
Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder is baseball’s active “Iron Man” with 416 straight starts.
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.