I hate those cutesy little bets mayors and governors make over sporting events. Pineapples for possum when Hawaii plays West Virginia in the BCS championship game? Egg creams for lake trout when the Orioles play the Mets in the World Series?* Who needs it?
Thankfully, the mayors of New York and Philly are eschewing that tradition this year and are doing something a bit more worthwhile:
Mayor Bloomberg and his World Series city counterpart, Michael Nutter, made a bet to nourish their communities instead of their stomachs.
If New York wins the Fall Classic, Nutter promises to come to the city and participate in a volunteer service project while dressed in Yankee pinstripes.
If the Bombers lose, Bloomberg will don a Phillies’ jersey and volunteer for a community service project in the City of Brotherly Love.
There’s probably still an element of grandstanding to all of this, but at least it has a core of community service instead of mere community boosterism to it.
*I realize that the Mets and Orioles are not likely to meet in a World Series again in our lifetimes, but I had to use this example to get to the egg creams (contents: no eggs and no cream) and Lake Trout (not from a lake, contains no trout).
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.
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.