Marc Carig has a good piece over at Baseball Prospectus today. He talks with Reggie Jackson about Mr. October’s all-time strikeout record and how, in hindsight, Reggie wishes he had cut down on his mighty hack. Marc adds some analysis of his own comparing the guy who was once thought of as an insane whiffer to guys today that make him look relatively tame in the K department.
It’s good reading, but I’m not sure what to make of Reggie thinking he should have struck out less. I’ve always had this idea of Jackson as a guy whose primary strength and primary weakness were his brains — which were obvious — and his ego — which was also obvious. I picture him thinking “man, I don’t care how much I strike out, because these violent swings are what makes me me.” And I picture him holding on to those thoughts with even greater relish now that he’s aware that, for the most part, strikeouts aren’t as stigmatized today.
Has Mr. October started to doubt himself in his September years? Is he simply taking the another turn against conventional wisdom now that the conventional wisdom has caught up with him?
Whatever the case, the classics never go out of style. And I consider Reggie Jackson a classic piece of work, for all of the good and all of the bad that phrase means to me. Check it out.
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.