As happens every year, the days after the Hall of Fame announcement are filled with people making suggestions about how to fix the Hall of Fame, the voting and all of that.
There are tiers suggested, in which Babe Ruth and Willie Mays sit on top and Jim Rice, George Kell and Lloyd Waner rest on the bottom. Alterations to the voting, ranging from the “panel of experts” to the “million monkeys with a million typewriters” models are suggested. Clearly, when it gets to this part of the season it is the best of times and it is the blurst of times, in terms of discussion topics, depending on your point of view.
Here’s one more suggestion though, floated by The Common Man: The Ron Swanson Hall of Fame. It comes with induction categories such as guys who are elected by virtue of their toughness, their “unquenchable iconoclasm” and for their love of meat and scotch. The latter of which should probably be its own Hall of Fame, but that’s a topic for another day.
Anyway, if you know who Ron Swanson is you should enjoy it. If you don’t, well, “Parks and Rec” is available on Netflix Instant.
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.