Philadelphia Phillies v San Francisco Giants, Game 4

What does it matter when Pat Burrell answers your question?

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Marc Topkin of the St. Petereburg Times has a column up about Pat Burrell today.  The headline:

Pat Burrell, revived with San Francisco Giants, doesn’t want to address time spent with Tampa Bay Rays.

An paragraph appearing early in the piece:

Approached several times during the NLCS to talk more about what went wrong during his time with the Rays, Burrell, 34, either ignored the request or declined cordially. Even after Saturday’s pennant-clinching win over the Phillies, he refused comment — again politely — to the Times.

Pat Burrell, quoted by Topkin in the same column:

“I wish I knew the answer, because it probably would have worked out differently down there,” Burrell said at the news conference, when he had to answer. “For me it has to have something to do with being in the flow of the game, playing in the field, being active in the game. I think that’s a huge part of it for me. I’m not saying that that’s right or wrong. I think just for me that was an important part of it.”

Query: if the guy actually answered your question before you went to press with your column, how can your headline and overall editorial thrust of the piece be about how he doesn’t want to talk to you?  Sure, he wouldn’t answer the question about his failures during the Championship Series, but he did eventually answer the question.  And for this he is portrayed as less than forthcoming, however politely?

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.