Omar Vizquel will probably retire after this year

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Omar Vizquel headshot.jpgOn Monday night Omar Vizquel tied Luis Aparicio for second all-time in hits by a shortstop.  Last night Vizquel said that could very well be the last milestone he hits and that he may very well retire after the season. He’s not yet committing one way or the other, but he did say that “this is probably going to be it.”

If so, nice career. As I said yesterday, not a Hall of Fame career in my mind, but a really, really nice one.  Actually, in the comments to yesterday’s Vizquel post my buddy Joe L. more or less captured my thoughts:

As a longtime Friend of the Feather and unabashed Vizquel fan, I feel
qualified to opine that he is plainly NOT a Hall of Famer.

He’s a classic your-favorite-player-as-a-kid ballplayer because he’s
flashy with the leather, hits a little, and, more than anything,
plainly loves playing baseball.  Which is infectious and endearing, but
is not necessarily the hallmark of a HOFer (see, e.g, Cobb, Ty).

He’s your #1 inductee into Hall of Very Good and Hall of Fun
Ballplayers and Hall of Quick Middle Infielders, but no more than that.  I would love it if he got in, not only because of his days with the
Tribe, but also because I’m a sucker for quick, flashy ballplayers like
Aparicio and Ozzie.  Davey Concepcion is my favorite player of all time
for the love of crumbcake.  But, frankly, he
shouldn’t be in either.
Which is a crying shame, but it’s not the Hall of Good Guys, and it’s
filled with bums who were much better than Omar and Davey, and that’s
just the way it is.

For the love of crumbcake, indeed.

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.