Colorado Rockies v Arizona Diamondbacks

Kirk Gibson used to walk uphill both ways and the Diamondbacks will too

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Kirk Gibson has had enough of the tomfoolery in the Dbacks’ clubhouse, particularly when it comes to cell phones:

Gibson probably would prefer to keep all cellphones out of the clubhouse. Players can use them up to a certain point in the day, as long as they get their work done.

“You’re talking to somebody in the clubhouse, your phone rings and you go to get it, I think it’s rude, Number 1, OK?” Gibson said. “I just don’t like it. I’m from an era where we had no phones to begin with. It just gets to be too much.

I guess Gibson would be totally old school whenever he managed, but he was playing as late as 1995, so this “back in my day” stuff is kind of rich coming from him.

Still, he’s serious about the cell phones thing. When I was at Dbacks camp last Thursday, the Arizona beat writers were talking about how nuts Gibson is about them. But he does seem to have a bit of a sense of humor about it. Before his little press conference, as a joke, a couple of the beat guys collected everyone’s cell phone and put them up on the podium where Gibson was going to speak so they were all right up in his face.

I thought that when Gibson saw them he’d freak. And I was worried about it because my phone was on that pile. I was half-convinced that Gibson would keep it until the end of the semester as a lesson to me.  But he didn’t freak. He may have seethed a bit — I think Gibson is a big seether — but he didn’t freak.

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.