The champagne goggles are very lame, but very necessary

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Anyone else feel that the post-clinch champagne celebrations feel scripted and rote by now?  Like it’s something that players feel obligated to do as opposed to something done spontaneously? Are you telling me that a guy like Nick Swisher couldn’t, if baseball’s social conventions allowed it, find a more interesting way to celebrate than by pouring bubbly on his friends’ heads?  I’m guessing he could break 50 laws of God and Man within an hour of the the game ending if given the chance.  I haven’t seen something truly spontaneous happen after a World Series since Wade Boggs got up on that horse.

But alas, we get champagne. It’s too much of a tradition now, much like the rather awkward and scripted jumping up and down in the middle of the field after the final out (note: did anyone else notice that some guys — like Posada — started doing little awkward hops before the dogpile because, well, they sort of felt they had to? Gave me a chuckle). There’s nothing that can be done about it at this point.

The best we can hope for, I suppose, is that players at least act like its spontaneous and not cover the room with plastic and put on goggles or something.  Wait, what? We can’t expect that either?

Talk to an eye doctor, though, and you’ll be converted to the pro-goggle side with the speed of one of Sabathia’s fastballs.

Champagne
has a high alcohol content, high enough to damage the surface lining of
the cornea, says Dr. Matthew Gardiner, director of emergency
ophthalmology services at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. (For
those medically inclined, the lining is called the epithelium.)

“A
corneal abrasion like that usually heals within two to three days, but
it can be extremely painful while it’s healing,” says Gardiner.

Fine. We’ll let you have your little champagne celebration.  And we’ll certainly let you have your goggles too.

Now about all of that hopping . . . 

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.