Detroit Tigers v Baltimore Orioles

Wait, the Tigers complained about an opponent hustling?

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The play that ended the Tigers-Rays game last night was weird.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a would-be putout at second with two down fail, thus allowing the guy from from third to score. Neat.

But more interesting to me were Joe Maddon’s comments after the game in which he praised Sean Rodriguez — the guy that beat the force at second — for his hustle on the play:

As odd as the ending to Wednesday’s game was, manager Joe Maddon said it couldn’t have been more fitting that Sean Rodriguez’s extreme hustle was the key to the Rays’ win. That’s because Tuesday, Rodriguez was getting yelled at by Detroit starter Brad Penny and possibly some other Tigers for hustling too much running hard on an infield pop out.

“For anybody to bark at another player for … hustling is absolutely insane, ludicrous,’’ Maddon said. “And if Sean had just charged the mound, I’d have been fine with that at that particular moment. I think that’s ridiculous, and then he shows them (Wednesday) what that means to play hard. So any time a guy gets on another guy because he’s going to show him up by playing too hard, I have a hard time with that myself, personally.”

I hadn’t heard anything about Penny barking at Rodriguez over actually running out a pop fly on Tuesday and can’t find any reference to it.  Did that actually happen?  Is Brad Penny so much of a yutz that he’s going to yell at players from the other team for hustling?

Please tell me that this is Joe Maddon being dramatic.  If not, whoa, we’ve taken the unwritten rules to a whole new stupid level.

UPDATE: Yeah, we are at  whole new stupid level. Rays Index has a post on it, complete with video of Penny yelling at Rodriguez for, apparently, running.  Fantastic work there Penny. Idiot of the Year was a pretty wide open race until now, but you have made yourself the front runner in epic fashion.

UPDATE II: Penny says he was yelling at Rodriguez for cussing. I guess, if true, that would take him out of singularly idiotic territory and merely put him down on Chris Carpenter level (“thou shalt not be mad at thineself for failing when facing me”).

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.