Peeved umps file complaint against Angels coaches

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It’s not just the Angels that have issue with the umps after last night’s game with the Red Sox. The umps have decided to fight back and file a complaint with MLB.
According to the Boston Herald, Rick Reed, the home plate umpire from last night’s game, said that he and the rest of the umpiring crew were “verbally abused” by members of the Angels coaching staff at the conclusion of the game.
“Their deportment left a lot to be desired,” Reed said.
Umpires at Fenway Park leave the playing field through the visiting dugout tunnel, which gave the Angels one more chance to voice their opinions about the ball-four call that allowed the Red Sox to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth last night.
The Herald goes on to report:

When the umpiring crew approached the dugout last night, Angels coaches could be seen jawing at them before manager Mike Scioscia could be seen waving them off.
“Mike made an attempt to calm his coaches down but I also thought he made comments that incited the situation,” said Reed.
Of the coaches’ behavior, Reed said it was “unprofessional and unbecoming of a professional team. I would think a coach or two will be regretting his actions.”

Also in the article, Reed admitted that the ball four to Nick Green, which should have been a called third strike to end the game, “very well could have been a strike.” However, he added to his explanation that catcher Mike Napoli moved his glove up after he caught it, a sales attempt that Reed interpreted as the ball was below the strike zone.
Editorial time: if Reed is really making judgments based on how the catcher catches the ball, he has no business being a umpire in major league baseball. That’s just disgusting. The pitch is a strike based on where it crosses plate, not based on what the catcher does with it afterwards. If Reed isn’t skilled enough to judge that, then he’s hopeless and he needs to resign immediately.

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.