J.P. Arencibia

J.P. Arencibia is really mature

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Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia is having a pretty awful start to his season: .063/.118/.156 in 35 plate appearances.  That’s pretty rough, especially because when you’re a major leaguer, people notice that sort of thing.

Eric Mirlis of the New York Sports Exchange radio show noticed, and he tweeted about it, saying that Arencibia’s stat line “ranked behind guys like Mike Morse and V-Mart so far this season…and they have not played.”

Harsh? Maybe. But true, and in putting Arencibia’s start in that kind of perspective, he’s explaining something to his readers.

J.P. Arencibia, however, had a problem with that, and tweeted this in response:

Totally mature. I give Mirlis credit for not responding with “well, I may be fat but you suck and at least I can diet.”  Because I probably would if I were in his place.

In other news, I wonder if going after a member of the media for being fat constitutes “harassment” under MLB’s new social media policy. I’d assume not, but then again, I’d assume a lot of things. Such as “major league players aren’t so damn thin-skinned that they can’t resist turning into schoolyard bullies when someone notes how poorly they’re doing.”

*Note: though the picture I used here shows Arencibia actually hitting a baseball, I assure you that it is real and has not been doctored in any way. Though he doesn’t know how to do it anymore, he used to do that once.

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.