Roberto Hernandez

The Rays victimize the Dodgers with the hidden ball trick

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In the bottom of the fourth inning of this afternoon’s game against the Dodgers, the Rays got an extra out by fooling Juan Uribe with the hidden ball trick. The Dodgers, already up 4-0, had the bases loaded with nobody out when A.J. Ellis hit a fly ball to Rays center fielder Wil Myers, allowing Andre Ethier to score from third.

Myers threw the ball in towards the plate to James Loney, who cut the ball off near the pitcher’s mound. Juan Uribe advanced to third and Skip Schumaker advanced to second. Loney noticed Uribe was not paying attention, so he threw the ball to shortstop Yunel Escobar, who then tossed it to third baseman Evan Longoria. Longoria held onto the ball until Uribe stepped off, and then applied the tag for the second out of the inning. Zack Greinke grounded out to end the inning. The Rays were happy to allow just the one run after loading the bases with no outs, thanks in large part to their use of the hidden ball trick.

Eric Stephen of SB Nation’s True Blue LA posted a video of the event.

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.

 

Jake Diekman will miss at least half of the 2017 season

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 9: Jake Diekman #41 of the Texas Rangers works against the Toronto Blue Jays in the sixth inning during game three of the American League Division Series at Rogers Centre on October 9, 2016 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
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Rangers reliever Jake Diekman will have surgery on January 25 to help alleviate ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease. As a result, the lefty will miss at least half of the 2017 regular season, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. Diekman was diagnosed with the illness when he was 11 years old. He has brought awareness to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America with a “Gut It Out” campaign.

Diekman, who turns 30 years old on Saturday, finished the 2016 campaign with a 3.40 ERA and a 59/26 K/BB ratio in 53 innings. He came to the Rangers from the Phillies in the Cole Hamels trade on July 31, 2015.

The Rangers and Diekman avoided arbitration last Friday, agreeing to a $2.55 million salary for the 2017 season.