The Contra Costa Times reports that the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum — home of the A’s and the Raiders — will be renamed Overstock.com Coliseum. The deal will earn the county $1.2 million a year for the next six years. I have two issues with this:
1. Anyone really betting that the Coliseum is going to last six more years? I mean, even Bud Selig’s committees have a shelf life, and I have a hard time seeing the A’s plying their trade in that joint in 2017. From what I understand the Raiders are itching to get one of those fancy new stadiums too, be it in Northern California or elsewhere.
2. I’m not sure why companies continue to buy naming rights for previously-built and previously-named stadiums, because people are just going to use the old names anyway. Or they’re going to use cutesy nicknames like “The O,” which is the opening sentence to the linked article. Or Surplus Stadium or whatever. Indeed, after this post, I can pretty much guarantee that no HardballTalk writer will use the name “Overstock.com Coliseum” in a post — at least in a non-mocking post — and fans will continue to call the place whatever they’ve been calling it for the past 40+ years.
But hey, I never said I understood business.
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.