Why is David Ortiz holding a news conference?

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From the “if it makes you feel better” department:

Red Sox star David Ortiz may soon provide more details about his 2003 drug test. The Boston slugger and incoming players’ union head Michael Weiner plan a news conference Saturday at Yankee Stadium before the Red Sox play New York . . .

. . . “I’m going to let you guys know what I’ve got. Period,” Ortiz said after the Yankees beat the Red Sox 13-6.

I don’t know how this serves anyone’s interest.  Certainly not the public’s.  Unlike the case with A-Rod and Manny, there hasn’t been a big “he must come clean!” groundswell with respect to Big Papi.  Probably because everyone knows that whenever a ballplayer makes a statement about these things all we get are prepared remarks which were in all likelihood crafted by legal counsel.  The union’s general counsel and future president, Michael Weiner, will be at Ortiz’s side tomorrow, so it’s not as if we should expect anything candid or all that interesting here.

A statement is not really in Papi’s interests either.  It’s still early, but doesn’t it seem like people are willing to go a bit easier on Ortiz than on other PED-implicated players? Maybe that’s because everyone always liked him.  Maybe it’s because he probably wasn’t a Hall of Fame case anyway and holds no records, so no one is too worried about what his legacy means.  Maybe it’s because his career is obviously winding down and there’s no sense in piling on.  Whatever the case, I don’t know that his situation is crying out for a P.R. offensive.

The final reason I think this is a bad idea is that, as I’ve mentioned several times before, the whole reason Ortiz’s name is out in PED land is because of someone’s illegal, unethical act.  It’s quite likely that the reason this scumbag is releasing these names is because he wants to make a spectacle out of these players and would like nothing more than to see them make this media perp-walk.  Why give him the satisfaction?

Ortiz’s positive test is more than six years-old.  It’s troubling and regrettable and all of that for the reasons so many people have stated so often, but it certainly doesn’t call for a news conference. 

Let it go, Papi.

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.