Magic McCourt

Wait, Magic Johnson sitting next to Frank McCourt is a problem of some kind?

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I thought the  picture of Magic Johnson sitting next to Frank McCourt at yesterday’s Dodgers-Padres game was kind of funny in a study-in-contrasts kind of way. But apparently it was more than that. At least to T.J. Simers who believes that it was a legitimate P.R. disaster:

Why would the best thing that has happened to the Dodgers in recent years allow himself to be photographed sitting next to the worst thing that has happened to the Dodgers? … Who is advising Magic? It can’t be a close friend or anyone interested in preserving Magic’s reputation, because they would tell him the last place he should be seen these days is sitting beside McCourt.

I looked high and low in the article for telltale signs of Simers’ trademark tongue-in-cheek thing, but could find no evidence that he was anything but serious here. He seems to legitimately believe that it’s insane that the buyer and seller of a big asset are seen together in between the time the bid was accepted and the deal closed.

You’re right. T.J.  Magic and McCourt should be like a bride and groom on their wedding day and not set eyes on one another lest all The Bad Things happen.

In other news, the O.C. Register has scores of people covering today’s Angels opener. Despite all of that editorial competition, I bet none of those guys have any trouble finding something to write about that is more of a legitimate thing than what Simers is all animated about here.

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)
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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.