The Indians are on their way to 100 losses

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The Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Starting Blocks blog notes that, if the
Indians lose tonight, they will have exactly 50 losses at the exact
halfway point of the season. Starting Blocks uses that possibility as a
springboard for discussing the Indians’ previous 100-loss teams. Lots of fun stuff in there:

1971, 60-102

Nobody wanted to see this team. The Indians drew 22,036 fans to
their last eight games at old Cleveland Municipal Stadium, an average
of 2,755. In their final three road games, at Washington against the
Senators, a total of 4,512 crazies showed up – an average of 1,504. The
Senators moved after the season to Texas, where they remain as the
Rangers.

I don’t know about you, but I was rather shocked that there were only six Indians teams on that list.

In other news — in what I’m sure is a complete and total coincidence — The Plain Dealer’s Paul Hoynes speculates whether Eric Wedge, Cliff Lee and Victor Martinez will finish the season in Whaoo caps.

I think they should consider unloading in all three, but if they do, that 1971 attendance “record” may be in jeopardy.

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.