Miami

For the players, Miami is a “girlfriend city”

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I was gone yesterday afternoon so I wasn’t following the blow-by-blow of the Bonds trial. By missing it, though, I missed a doozy.  In case you missed it too, know this: to players on road trips, there are “wife cities” and there are “girlfriend cities.”

This came up during Kimberly Bell’s testimony, in which she said that Bonds told her about the idea. Bonds would know too, seeing as though he dated Bell through parts of two separate marriages. During her cross examination, Bell said that Miami was a “girlfriend city.”, so she’d rendezvous with Barry there and other girlfriend cities.

Quite the concept.  Maybe it explains why the Braves always seem to play so flat against the Marlins on the road!

I’d love to have a list of all major league cities and have them rated for wife or girlfriend-friendliness.  And in case you think I’d use such information for player-stalking purposes, I should say that I’m more interested in the criteria for categorization than anything else.  Based on Miami being for the girlfriends I’d assume that a hot night life is important for that, but there has to be more to it.  Like, which way does good shopping cut?  And does the entire breakdown of the cities give us any idea as to whether cheating players have more contempt for the wives they betray or their girlfriends they use?

Put differently, who gets stuck with Cincinnati?

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.