Frank White played his entire 18-season career for the Royals, spent years after that coaching and broadcasting their games, and has a statue in front of Kauffman Stadium.
Yet last month the team fired White as their part-time television announcer and yesterday he took a new job on the independent league Kansas City T-Bones’ coaching staff, revealing a few more details about his ouster from the Royals.
White told Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star that he’ll never come back to the organization:
I’m just glad I’m not there anymore. I’m healthier. My blood pressure is stable. I’m laughing a lot more, I’m having more fun. This is good. This is good for me. It’s hard to go to work when the people there don’t see you as an asset, or someone who can help make the team better. When you’re the guy everybody messes with. When there’s nobody there to say, “This is Frank White, this is what he’s done for us, don’t mess with him.”
White, who the Royals paid around $300,000 last year, told Mellinger that owner David Glass fired him because of critical comments he made that supposedly did “irrevocable damage” to the team. And in fairness to the Royals according to Mellinger they got reports from other teams that White was badmouthing them privately.
Whatever the case, it sounds like the 40-year relationship is going to be very difficult to repair. Or as White put it: “I’ll tell you the most disappointing thing in this. Nobody stood up for me. Even when I was making sense to them, or thought I was making sense, nobody stood up for me. Nobody.”
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.