Dusty Baker

Team President wants Dusty Baker to stay with the Reds “for many years to come”

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It’s hard to find a successful manager who polarizes his own team’s fan base as much as Dusty Baker. I’m not sure why. The stuff about him being hard on pitchers is pretty far in the past.  I think he’s a pretty good manager. His players seem to like him.  He does the one thing that, in my view, is the most important thing a manager can do, and that’s keep the clubhouse on an even keel and the drama to a minimum. Just ask the Red Sox how important that is.

Yet, based on sentiment I hear here in Ohio and around the internets, there is a certain segment of Reds fans who don’t much care for him.  In light of that, this will drive those folks nuts:

Reds manager Dusty Baker should not be concerned about his current contractual situation. Bob Castellini, the team’s president and chief executive, wants Baker around for a long time.

“I would like to see Dusty Baker as a member of our organization for many years to come,” Castellini told MLB.com on Wednesday, as two days of quarterly Owners’ Meetings began here at the Four Seasons Hotel. “That’s it.”

I think that’s great. Dusty fits that team well. He’s been successful. Good for him if they get a deal done.

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.