Maicer Izturis fired back at fans who question his durability, as the Angels infielder told Kevin Baxter of the Los Angeles Times that “those are ignorant people who say that” and “they don’t know the game.”
Izturis, who was on the disabled list three times last season and has played just 254 of a possible 486 games during the past three years, explained to Baxter that “I could play 140 games at 90 percent or 80 percent, but that’s not the way I play. I play 100 percent.”
Athletes playing through injury is generally met with too much praise, as they often play poorly or make the injury worse by doing so and ultimately don’t actually help the team. However, rarely will you hear a player admit that he’s unwilling to play at “90 percent or 80 percent” health, like Izturis did, which certainly isn’t going to stop “those ignorant people” from questioning his durability.
Izturis tried to downplay his missed time by bringing up all the games Josh Hamilton has missed for the Rangers, saying: “I don’t see people saying he’s fragile. They say he plays hard.” However, while it’s true that people say Hamilton plays hard, Izturis suggesting that Rangers fans and media members don’t question the reigning MVP’s durability shows his ignorance. Hamilton shifted away from center field because of concerns about staying healthy there and after his latest injury occurred running the bases there was tons of talk about how there’s really no way for the Rangers to keep him from getting injured. His being fragile is a major topic.
Most of all, though, there’s really nothing to be gained from a player calling fans of the team he plays on “ignorant people” who “don’t know the game.” Of course, right now he’s healthy and hitting .380, so fans probably won’t be too harsh on the guy with 27 hits in 16 games.
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.
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.