Ozzie Guillen backtracks on that Asian/Latino ballplayer thing

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On one level I’m happy that Ozzie Guillen is now backtracking from his controversial comments over the weekend, saying that his stuff about baseball treating Asian players better than Latinos was taken out of context, misinterpreted and so on.  I mean, we have a pretty decent pennant race shaping up here in the AL Central, and I’d hate for some silly off-the-field distraction to unduly impact it.

On the other hand, Guillen’s moonwalking from controversy disrupts a pet theory I have: that Ozzie is going to try to get himself fired so that he can take over the Marlins job next season. No, I have no reason other than my own deranged mind to support such a theory (well, almost no other reason), but I think that’s what Kat Von D did on Miami Ink before taking over her own show in L.A., and this totally fits the pattern.

Um, forget I said that. I have no idea what any of that meant. Anyway.

In other news, you will officially win the Internet for the day if you can find me a single recent example of public figure trying to get out from under the heat of controversial comments without playing the “my words were taken out of context” card. Indeed, it’s gotten so bad on that score that whenever I hear it, I instantly translate it to “since I was on tape and thus can’t pretend I didn’t say it, I am now trying to the next best thing.”

Brett Lawrie will take a pay cut to avoid arbitration with White Sox

MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 12: Brett Lawrie #15 of the Chicago White Sox fields a ground ball during batting practice before the start of the game against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on August 12, 2016 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
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Infielder Brett Lawrie successfully avoided arbitration and signed a one-year contract with the White Sox on Friday, per a team announcement. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman added that the deal was for $3.5 million, significantly lower than the $4.125 million Lawrie was paid by the White Sox in 2016.

The White Sox acquired Lawrie last December in a swap for minor league arms Zack Erwin and J.B. Wendelken. After splitting time at second and third base for the Athletics in 2015, Lawrie slotted in at second base and DH for the White Sox and batted .248/.310/.413 with 12 home runs in 384 PA. While it’s strange to see a healthy, fairly productive player receive a salary reduction in arbitration, Lawrie missed nearly half of the season with a strain in his left hamstring, though he’s projected to return at full health by the start of the 2017 season.

Cubs sign LHP Brian Duensing to a one-year, $2 million deal

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 04:  Brian Duensing #50 of the Baltimore Orioles throws a pitch in the eleventh inning against the Toronto Blue Jays during the American League Wild Card game at Rogers Centre on October 4, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
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Left-hander Brian Duensing signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Cubs on Friday, per a report from FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman.

The free agent spent the bulk of his 2016 season with the Orioles after receiving a call-up from Triple-A Norfolk in early June. He underwent elbow surgery several weeks later when a freak bullpen injury revealed cartilage chips and inflammation in his pitching elbow, but recovered to finish the season with a 4.05 ERA and 10 strikeouts in 13 1/3 innings for the club. The Orioles utilized him for a final out during the AL Wild Card game, during which Duensing recorded a five-pitch strikeout in the ninth inning of their 5-2 loss to the Blue Jays.

The 33-year-old is currently expected to bulk up the Cubs’ left-handed relief corps, with fellow left-hander Mike Montgomery slated for the rotation in 2017.