Ozzie Guillen Getty

Ozzie Guillen has one rule: Don’t be late for the [bleeping] National Anthem

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Ozzie Guillen had a nice rant yesterday, explaining that one of his few rules as a manager is making sure all players are on time and in the dugout when the National Anthem is performed before each game.

And because Ozzie is Ozzie, the explanation for why that’s so important to him was both insightful and full of profanity. Here’s an excerpt, via Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post:

One thing that really pisses me off, if you’re not there for the National Anthem. That’s the only rule I have. If you can’t go by that easy one, then we’ve got problems. … You’re late for the [expletive] National Anthem? The National Anthem is [expletive] 10 minutes before the game starts. We’re going to start in 10 minutes and you’re late?

“I was in the [bathroom].” You got an hour and a half between batting practice and the National Anthem to [use the bathroom]. Too bad. Respect your teammates. Respect the flag. A lot of people have been killed to make this country free for us. You should be there for at least two minutes. Respect that, especially if you come from another [expletive] country, you should be there an hour before.

Guillen was born in Venezuela, came to the United States in 1980 when he signed with the Padres, and became a citizen in 2006. It’s pretty interesting to hear just how much the National Anthem means to him, because my guess is that many American-born players, managers, and fans probably take it for granted as merely something that occurs before they can start playing each night.

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.