Ken Rosenthal is pretty straightforward with his Hall of Fame balloting: he won’t vote for the PED guys. Bright side: he’s pretty strict about who he considers to be a PED guy, limiting to guys against whom there is strong evidence. This is totally defensible even if I’d approach it differently. there is rigor and fairness involved and he doesn’t play the innuendo and guilt-by-association games.
Here’s his Hall of Fame ballot. The most notable thing: ten guys are on it, despite his no-PED policy. And all ten are worthy, which just shows you how stocked the ballot is this year. It shows that there is basically no excuse for anyone turning in a ballot with only a couple of guys on it.
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.