San Francisco Giants v Atlanta Braves, Game 3

Catching up with Brooks Conrad

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While the winter is an awful, awful thing for a baseball fan, it has served one healing purpose for Braves fans: it has allowed us to forget about Brooks Conrad’s follies in the NLDS against the Giants.  In case you wanted to relive it, however — or if you actually want to find reasons not to hate the guy — there’s a nice profile of him in the AJC today.  This part might makes you just want to die, though:

In the first inning of Game 3, Conrad bobbled a double-play ball. Then he dropped a pop-up to right field in the second.

When Posey handcuffed him in the ninth, Conrad’s wife Jessie was in the concourse at Turner Field, taking their 3-year-old son Jaxon to the bathroom. She hadn’t even seen the play. But she heard booing and her heart sank.

“I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, please no,’” Jessie said.

The stuff that follows about his teammates and family rallying around him the night of the game is hanky material.

Spring is upon us and it’s time for renewal. And no one could use it more than Conrad.  Here’s hoping that things turn out well for him him in the new year.

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.