Nolan Ryan: "it might not happen"

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It’s one thing when sports business reporters and bloggers and other assorted riffraff suggest that team Greenberg/Ryan’s bid for the Rangers is in trouble, but it’s another thing altogether when Nolan Ryan himself says it.  Here’s ESPN Dallas/Fort Worth’s Richard Durrett:

Team President president Nolan Ryan acknowledged Thursday that his group, which
includes Pittsburgh attorney Chuck Greenberg, might not end up owning
the team. He added that he wasn’t sure what he might do after this
season should Houston businessman Jim Crane, who is trying to get back
in the bidding, ends up owning the team.

“It’s a good possibility that it might not happen,” Ryan said about
owning the team.

Ryan’s pessimism comes as a hearing scheduled for today was canceled and bickering continues over the process by which the team is to be auctioned.  Initially the process seemed pretty slanted towards Greenberg and Ryan — Major League Baseball got veto power over the winner — but now that’s not at all clear, either because the process will be different, baseball is getting cooler with the notion of Crane owning the team or both.

The unmitigated disaster continues. But hey, at least the Rangers themselves are playing some pretty fantastic baseball this year.

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.