“You gotta understand, there were only 28 people who had my job in
the whole world. And thousands of people
wanted those jobs, and every year, there were guys trying to take my
job. So I needed to do anything I could to protect my job, take care of
my family. Do you have any idea how much money was at stake? Do you?'”
— Lenny Dykstra, speaking in 2008 about his decision to use steroids throughout his career.
I don’t quote this for approval, by the way. I quote it merely to illustrate that fear — irrational or otherwise — not mustache-twirling evil is what motivated most steroids users. Maybe that doesn’t matter much given that (a) he still broke the rules; and (b) his fear and use may have prevented a clean player from taking his job like he otherwise might have, but I just feel the need to defend even s—heels like Dykstra from the “PED-users-are-monsters” brigade. I mean, really, there are already so many other reasons to call Dykstra a monster, why should be focus on PEDs?
This quote comes out in the publicity surrounding the new book by Lenny Dykstra, by the way. The book has surprisingly gotten publicity over its Dykstra/steroids revelations. Which is odd considering that Dykstra was named in the Mitchell Report.
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.
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.