File photo of Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt speaking at a news conference about increased security at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles

Frank McCourt is not the master of P.R.

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P.R. professionals like to use the term “optics” to refer to how things look (as opposed to what is really going on). You could have just given $100,000 to an orphanage, but if you are seen berating your assistant for sloppy writing on the big oversized check that will be paraded before the media, those are “bad optics.”

Maybe that’s all superficial stuff. But sometimes the optics of a given situation tell some fundamental truth about that situation.  And while I’m not a P.R. professional, I do wonder if Frank McCourt has thought through the optics of this day.  A day on which (a) he’ll be in New York meeting with MLB executives to plead his case about keeping control of the Dodgers; while (b) the new man in control of the Dodgers, Tom Schieffer, will hold a press conference in Los Angeles where he’ll no doubt talk about how deeply he cares about restoring the Dodgers to financial sanity.

Is there no one in Frank McCourt’s circle of advisors who told him that it may be a good idea for him to be seen showing an equal amount of concern for the Dodgers on this day, at least publicly, and then going to New York next week in order to restore his personal control over the team?

Because when the narrative of his reign in Los Angeles is “the man ran the team into the ground while extracting a hundred million bucks or more from it for his own personal use,” looking like a bit more of a team player seems important.

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.

Royals sign Danny Duffy to a five-year, $65 million contract extension

KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 02:  Starting pitcher Danny Duffy #41 of the Kansas City Royals pitches during the game against the Detroit Tigers at Kauffman Stadium on September 2, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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The Kansas City Royals have signed starter Danny Duffy to a five-year, $65 million contract extension.

Duffy was arbitration eligible this offseason and would’ve been a free agent next winter if he hadn’t signed the deal. Given his stuff he might’ve made a mint as a free agent, but he’s also been inconsistent at times and any pitcher is an injury away from losing a payday, making this a nice, lucrative bet for the lefty.

Duffy, 28, posted a 3.51 ERA and a 188/42 K/BB ratio across 179.2 innings in 2016.