Jonathan Papelbon is awesome

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Papelbon 2.jpgJonathan Papelbon sat down for an interview with ESPN Boston’s Gordon Edes and the subject of his soon-to-arrive son came up.  And I gotta tell ya, I’m really starting to take a shine to Jonathan Papelbon:


Papelbon’s wife, Ashley, is
pregnant with the couple’s second child, a brother for toddler daughter
Parker. The child is due in April.
“Got a name picked out,”
Papelbon says. “Gunner Roberts.” The significance? “Nothing, man. Just a
badass name, so we went with it.’

Jay from Fack Youk, who shot me the link, has a list of rejected Junior Papelbon names.  I’m going to talk to the wife about changing my boy’s name to “Rambo Rocky Calcaterra” as soon as she comes home from work.

In other news, Papelbon had no idea that the Red Sox had signed John Lackey until the team trainer told him the other day. He didn’t know about the Cameron, Beltre or Kotchman deals until he sat down for the interview.  There’s some interesting byplay about young Daniel Bard maybe taking his job someday. From what I can gather, the Sox could probably just tell Papelbon that the eighth inning is the ninth inning and vice-versa and he wouldn’t know the difference, thereby averting any controversy.

Anyway, like the lady said, the world is made for people who aren’t cursed with self-awareness.  Or any sort of awareness, really.

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.