UPDATE: Salisbury says it’s a done deal and McClure is the Phillies’ new pitching coach.
Numerous candidates have turned down a chance to become the Phillies’ new pitching coach, but Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports that Bob McClure “has become the lead candidate” for the job.
McClure has served as a pitching coach for the Rockies, Royals, and Red Sox, but was fired by Boston in August of 2012 amid the Bobby Valentine-related mess and there were reports suggesting he was the leak of behind-the-scenes clubhouse details that surfaced.
Setting that aside, McClure has a ton of experience as a big-league pitching coach and … well, the Phillies are running out of other options at this point. Plus, just look at that mustache.
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.
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.