Jim Rice isn't too impressed with Zack Greinke

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rice_jim_090924.jpgAll you Zack Greinke fans out there are not going to be too happy with Jim Rice (from Ask 14, with a hat tip to Joe Posnanski):

Zack Greinke didn’t really impress me last night. He pitched well and maybe I caught him on a bad night, but to me he didn’t seem dominant. Greinke has may have the lowest ERA in the AL since Pedro Martinez in 2000, but he doesn’t strike me as the dominant force that Pedro was during his statistical peak. Don’t get me wrong, Greinke pitched very effectively but he was not the unhittable beast on the mound that Pedro or Clemens (or even Johan Santana) were during their reign of dominance.

Yes that’s right, because Pedro Martinez and Roger Clemens (and even Johan Santana), always threw no-hitters. Every time they pitched. This makes perfect sense. Listen to Rice, because who better to identify greatness than a Hall of Famer?

Don’t pay any attention to the numbers. Don’t listen to anyone who has seen Greinke pitch more than once this season. Just remember, if a guy is merely good on the night you happen to watch him, then he can’t be that great.

I once saw Nolan Ryan pitch a one-hitter in person. But I was also watching the night his career ended. He failed to get an out, and his final pitch was jacked for a grand slam by some dude named Dann (two ns!) Howitt. How did Ryan ever make it to Cooperstown with an outing like that?

In fact, now that I look at the numbers, I see that Rice had a three-game hitless streak in 1978. With this evidence – and logic – in hand, maybe it’s time to revisit the MVP voting for that season.

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.