History Lesson: even great careers rarely end well

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Lar at Wezen-Ball reflects
on the presumptive end of Tom Glavine’s career by looking at how other
first-ballot Hall of Famers — a club Glavine will almost certainly
join — ended theirs:

With everyone talking about the Braves and Tom Glavine this week,
and how unfair the whole situation seems to be, it’s good to remember
that there are many all-time greats whose careers ended in a similar
(or worse) way than Glavine’s seems to have ended. It’s the sad nature
of the game, though, especially as players like Tom Glavine or even Tom
Seaver age beyond the ability for their bodies to come back from
injury.

Still, as true as that may be, we shouldn’t fret. Yes, we all
remember Willie Mays falling down in the outfield as a New York Met or
Dave Winfield failing to make the postseason roster in his final year,
but that’s neither the lasting image nor the last feelings that we have
of these greats. Instead, we remember their power and their grace and
their energy and their attitude from back in their prime. That’s why,
when you think of Babe Ruth, you see him swinging for the fences in
Yankee Stadium or leaning on a bat grinning, and why you see Willie
Mays running out to centerfield to catch that ball when you think of
the Say Hey Kid.

Before reaching that conclusion, Lar runs through excerpts from the
final game stories of multiple legends. Eye-opening stuff for those of
you who think of Reggie Jackson as a Yankee, Dennis Eckersley as an
Athletic, and Steve Carlton as a Phillie.

Report: Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on Sonny Gray

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 06: Sonny Gray #54 of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning at the Oakland Coliseum on August 6, 2016 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
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The Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on starting pitcher Sonny Gray, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Astros have added Charlie Morton this offseason, but the club has been trying to add a big-name starting pitcher to put at the top of the rotation behind Dallas Keuchel.

Gray, 27, was limited to 22 starts in the 2016 season due to a forearm issue. His stats left a lot to be desired, as he finished with a 5-11 record, a 5.69 ERA, and a 94/42 K/BB ratio over 117 innings. Considering how Gray pitched in the previous three years, he’s a good bet to bounce back.

Gray is under team control through 2019, which is a big draw for the Astros. Needless to say, the Athletics would want a haul in terms of prospects. Gray will earn $3.575 million in 2017, having avoided arbitration in his first year of eligibility.

President Obama Welcomes the Cubs to the White House

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As we noted last week, The Chicago Cubs took the unusual step of not waiting until the summer after winning the World Series to make their customary White House visit to meet the president. They did it today, seeing President Obama a few short days before he leaves office.

Despite the fact that Obama is a White Sox fan, he met the Cubs with diplomacy and grace. It’s almost as if he’s been in that business for the past eight years. In return, he was given some gifts by the Cubs: Theo Epstein presented Obama with a No. 44 Cubs jersey, a tile from the center field scoreboard at Wrigley Field, and a lifetime pass to Wrigley as well.

Obama is staying in D.C. after he leaves office this week, hanging around so his daughter can finish high school in the same place she started. Even so, he’s likely going to be back to Chicago a good bit over the rest of his life, so he’ll likely be able to put the free pass to work. Assuming it comes with, like, six companion passes for his Secret Service detail.