What was up with A.J. Burnett's eye last night?

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First, the important stuff. The Yankees climbed back into first place in the American League East with a 4-3 win over the Orioles last night.
Alex Rodriguez played the hero, slamming two home runs, including a
go-ahead three-run shot off O’s closer Koji Uehara with two outs in the top of the
ninth inning.

Last night’s starter A.J. Burnett gave up three
runs — including a pair of solo homers — over seven innings as part of
a no-decision. It was one of his better starts in a while, but all
everybody could talk about after the game was the noticeable shiner he
was sporting. All he would say about it, according to Peter Botte of the
New York Daily News, is that it was not baseball-related.

“I’m
not going to comment on it, but I understand you guys have to ask. There are more
important things going on right now with this team than my eye. It was a
huge win for us.

“Let’s talk about baseball. I understand you have to ask, but I’m not going to comment on it.”

Just in case the image to the right doesn’t suffice, check out this screenshot,
courtesy of Mike Axisa of the excellent River Ave. Blues. How’d it
happen? Well, my guess is that he tripped over his tremendous piles of money.
Dude’s a klutz. A rich klutz, though.
 

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)
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.