Jim Leyland

Report: Jim Leyland stepping down as Tigers manager

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This is big. Ken Rosenthal of Fox reports that Tigers manager Jim Leyland is stepping down. Rosenthal says that he told the team after end of ALCS on Saturday. The Tigers have called a news conference for 11:30 AM this morning to, presumably, make the announcement official.

Leyland has been the Tigers manager since 2006. He won two pennants –in 2006 and 2012 — three AL Central titles and made the playoffs four times. His record as Tigers skipper is 700-597 Overall he has managed 22 seasons and 1769-1728 with the Pirates, Marlins, Rockies and Tigers. Leyland is 68 and Rosenthal reports that he told the Tigers that it’s time for someone younger to take over the team.

With the Tigers opening being added to vacancies in Washington and Cincinnati, there are now three plum jobs for managers ready to enter “win-now” mode.

MORE: Who replaces Leyland in Detroit?

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.