Brian Roberts unsure what caused concussion-like symptoms

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After sitting out the Orioles’ season finale yesterday for his sixth consecutive missed game Brian Roberts revealed that he’s been bothered by “concussion-like symptoms” that have led to “lack of balance and some headaches, and just stuff that hasn’t been a whole lot of fun.”
Roberts, who missed nearly the entire first half of the season with a herniated disk in his lower back, is scheduled to undergo a cat scan today in an effort to find the cause of the headaches. Here’s more from the All-Star second baseman:

I don’t know 100 percent sure [what caused the headaches], but it was Monday night. In frustration, I whacked myself on the head with my bat in the ninth. I had my helmet on. It’s something I’ve done a million times, but I still can’t tell you for sure if that was it. But that’s the only thing that I can point to because that night and the next morning, I just didn’t feel good.

Buck Showalter is getting most of the credit for Baltimore’s late-season turnaround, and rightfully so, but getting Roberts back into the lineup was also key for the Orioles. They went 29-26 with Roberts in the lineup during the second half as he hit .287/.361/.403 in 245 plate appearances.
He’s under contract for $10 million in each of the next three seasons.

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.