Umpire Randy Marsh apologizes to Jim Leyland

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Inge Marsh.jpgYou’ll recall the little controversy in the 12th inning of Game 163 between the Twins and Tigers last year? The one in which home plate umpire Randy Marsh missed the fact that Brandon Inge got hit by a pitch with the bases loaded that would have given the Tigers at least a one-run lead and, possibly, the division title?  Well, Marsh lived with it for a few weeks after the season but then he unburdened his conscience:

Not that it does much good now, but they got it wrong — and they know it.

In an interview last Friday before a charity roast for Don Zimmer in Connecticut, Jim Leyland said he got a call from umpire Randy Marsh “three weeks into the offseason” to apologize
for missing the one-out pitch with the bases loaded that hit Brandon
Inge in the playoff game against Minnesota.

I suppose the first impulse of a Tigers fan would be to moan and complain about this.  The second impulse, however, should be to reflect on the facts that (a) the Tigers were still unable to get a run home from third with one out; and (b) they wouldn’t have even been in the game if they hadn’t blown a seven game lead in September in the first place.

But hey, apology accepted.

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.

Royals sign Danny Duffy to a five-year, $65 million contract extension

KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 02:  Starting pitcher Danny Duffy #41 of the Kansas City Royals pitches during the game against the Detroit Tigers at Kauffman Stadium on September 2, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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The Kansas City Royals have signed starter Danny Duffy to a five-year, $65 million contract extension.

Duffy was arbitration eligible this offseason and would’ve been a free agent next winter if he hadn’t signed the deal. Given his stuff he might’ve made a mint as a free agent, but he’s also been inconsistent at times and any pitcher is an injury away from losing a payday, making this a nice, lucrative bet for the lefty.

Duffy, 28, posted a 3.51 ERA and a 188/42 K/BB ratio across 179.2 innings in 2016.