Here’s an odd story with odder timing.
According to Sam Strong of the Long Beach Press-Telegram, hundreds of Dodgers fans arrived in Chavez Ravine around 7 PM on Saturday, hours after the team had completed a 1-0 defeat of the visiting Padres. Those fans were unaware that FOX had selected the game for its national broadcast and moved first pitch to the early afternoon. They were issued ticket vouchers for a future home game.
As noted by the Press-Telegram, an advertiser for HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm” might have also been thrown off, as an airplane carrying a promotional banner for the show was making loops above an empty Dodger Stadium just before 7 PM.
It all represents the sudden lack of interest in Frank McCourt’s sinking ship.
According to Jon Weisman of ESPN Los Angeles, less than 80 people gathered on a block near the stadium an hour before the actual 1:10 PM first pitch to protest the bankrupt owner with homemade signs and a megaphone. These days in Dodgerland, not even the protests are well-attended.
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.