President Obama throws out first pitch

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The President threw out the first pitch at the Phillies-Nats game a little over an hour ago.  You can see video of it here, at least until Major League Baseball’s lawyers go and shut down the Sporting News for what I presume is some retransmitting and/or rebroadcasting the descriptions and/or accounts of the game without express written consent.  In the meantime, a couple of observations:

  • When I saw the Nationals jacket I was prepared to call the nation’s most famous White Sox fan a flip flopper;
  • When I saw him break out the Sox cap, I was once again pleased with our nation’s leader.  It would have been better if he ripped off the Nats jacket to reveal a Gordon Beckham jersey, thrown the jacket on the ground and then spit on it, but we’ll take what we can get;
  • I have no idea why he wore the glove. Was he expecting a comebacker? Are his mechanics so delicate that he has to have the glove so as not to throw off his weight distribution during his windup?
  • The ball as juuuuuuust a bit high.  Beats bouncing it, sure, but Michelle had better get him breathing through his eyelids stat, because that stuff won’t play in the show, Meat.

Can you call the President “Meat?”  Yeah, I think you can.

Report: Royals and Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension

SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 12:  Eric Hosmer #35 of the Kansas City Royals and the American League rounds the bases after hitting a home run against the National League in the 2nd inning of the 87th Annual MLB All-Star Game at PETCO Park on July 12, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
Denis Poroy/Getty Images
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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.

Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.

Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.

Yankees sign Jon Niese to a minor league deal

PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 17:  Jonathon Niese #49 of the New York Mets delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 17, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images
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Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, pending a physical. Assuming the deal is finalized, Sherman notes that the Yankees will have Niese work as both a starter and a reliever in big league camp this spring.

According to Sherman, the Yankees were interested in lefty relievers Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan, but didn’t want to commit at their asking prices. They are looking for a lefty set-up man along with Tommy Lane.

Niese, 30, pitched for the Pirates and Mets last season, finishing with a 5.50 ERA and an 88/47 K/BB ratio over 121 innings.