Chicago Cubs manager Quade smiles with starting pitcher Dempster in Cincinnati

Ryan Dempster and Mike Quade are friends again

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Ryan Dempster was not happy about Cubs manager Mike Quade pulling him from Saturday’s start after the fifth inning and the two had an extended screaming match, but it sounds like they’ve patched things up.

Here’s what Quade told Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune:

Everything is fantastic. I was going to tell you about the conversation I had with my girlfriend last night too, but that’s off limits as well. That’s part of being at this level, not just in this town. And it’s OK.

Dempster declined to comment yesterday and Sullivan notes that he was “unapologetic” when talking previously about the incident, but he’s scheduled to start tomorrow and Quade at least seems to be over it.

Adding to the drama is that Dempster was one of Quade’s biggest supporters when the Cubs were deciding whether or not to make him the full-time manager, and with the team already out of contention at 37-56 and Quade under fire it’d be nice to have Dempster back on his side again. He might have bigger problems, after all.

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.