Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen walks in the dugout after the seventh inning of an MLB American League baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim

Ozzie Guillen on bullpen’s struggles: “I don’t have any closer”

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Yesterday the White Sox’s bullpen imploded again, allowing three runs in the ninth inning and three more in the 10th frame to turn a 4-1 lead into a 7-4 loss against the A’s.

Afterward manager Ozzie Guillen was understandably upset, telling reporters “I don’t have any closer” and jokingly suggesting he “might call” 47-year-old Bobby Thigpen, who saved a then-record 57 games for the White Sox in 1990.

I see the same [expletive] you guys see. Exactly same [expletive]. When we play good, they send those guys to this damn [interview] table and talk to them like heroes. When we [expletive] it up, I’m the one who has to … sit here and talk to you guys.

In other words, he’s fed up with making excuses for relievers and taking blame for the struggles of a bullpen that has a collective 6.14 ERA. Anointed closer Matt Thornton lost his grip on the job within days, Chris Sale was terrible yesterday when asked to close out a three-run lead, and free agent pickup Jesse Crain couldn’t get the job done either.

It’s almost enough to make a man miss Bobby Jenks.

UPDATE: CSN Chicago has video of Guillen’s rant/press conference.

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.