Brandon Phillips doesn't back down; Cardinals still, presumably, "little bitches"

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Gotta admire a man for sticking to his guns.  Here’s Brandon Phillips a few minutes ago, the day after his “the Cardinals are little bitches” comments:

“I said what I said and the Cardinals can say what they said. They can
say all they want about what I said, I don’t care. I’ve said all I’ve
got to say. All I want to do is win, beat those guys and win.”

No “I was misquoted” or “that was taken out of context.”  He just owns it.  Good for him.

His teammates are basically letting it go too.  Bronson Arroyo describes it as “Brandon being Brandon,” and compares him to OchoCinco. Arroyo goes on to note that the whole “is this ammunition for the other guys” question isn’t easy to answer. After all, he says, if someone plunks Phillips over it, he’s liable to come around and score.

Dusty Baker and Walt Jocketty are also quoted and while neither of them seem all that happy about Phillips comments, their responses are more of the eyes rolling variety.  Which is probably the best response.  The only thing that makes this a bigger distraction than it already is is for the Reds to make it one.

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.

Royals sign Danny Duffy to a five-year, $65 million contract extension

KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 02:  Starting pitcher Danny Duffy #41 of the Kansas City Royals pitches during the game against the Detroit Tigers at Kauffman Stadium on September 2, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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The Kansas City Royals have signed starter Danny Duffy to a five-year, $65 million contract extension.

Duffy was arbitration eligible this offseason and would’ve been a free agent next winter if he hadn’t signed the deal. Given his stuff he might’ve made a mint as a free agent, but he’s also been inconsistent at times and any pitcher is an injury away from losing a payday, making this a nice, lucrative bet for the lefty.

Duffy, 28, posted a 3.51 ERA and a 188/42 K/BB ratio across 179.2 innings in 2016.