Joe Torre, Bud Black conspire to ruin John Lindsey's major league debut

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Recall from Tuesday that John Lindsey was finally called up by the Dodgers after 15 years in the minor leagues. Last night he was poised to make his big league debut against the Padres, but the fates — and a little over-managing — ruined it.

Lindsey didn’t start, but he was sent to pinch hit for Scott Podsednik — facing lefty Joe Thatcher — with one out in the top of the eighth inning. After his name was announced, however, Bud Black replaced Thatcher with righty Luke Gregerson. This caused Joe Torre to call Lindsey back and send up Andre Ethier instead. Ethier promptly hit into an inning-ending double
play. Lindsey ended up with his name in the box score, but no actual game action to show for it.

I suppose you can’t expect Bud Black not to play the matchups there. He’s in a tight pennant race after all. But jeez, he did have a 4-0 lead. Torre has less of an excuse. I mean, everything we’ve seen from the Dodgers over the last week or two suggests that they’ve quit already, so what’s the harm in letting a righty face a righty in that situation?

Oh well, unless Lindsey is hit by a streetcar this morning it won’t much matter, as Torre says that he’ll get a start on Saturday in Houston. Still, what do you think was going through Lindsey’s mind as he prepared to take his first major league pitch, only to here zombie Joe Torre call him back to the dugout?

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.