Tampa Bay Rays v Boston Red Sox

Red Sox brass reportedly mad that more players didn’t go to Johnny Pesky’s funeral

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We’ve secretly replaced the 2010 Mets with the 2012 Red Sox and Walter Reed Hospital with Johnny Pesky’s funeral. Let’s see if anyone notices!

The late Johnny Pesky gave his life to his beloved Boston Red Sox but, sadly, it appears only four current players made time to attend theFenway icon’s funeral.

Word from Yawkey Way is that the Sox front office hired buses to bring players, office and staff to the funeral from the ballpark to the church. The suits, we hear, were surprised and disappointed when the vast majority of the 40 players on the roster didn’t bother to show up for the services.

The Boston Herald had a reporter there and counted the players, observing only David Ortiz, Clay Buchholz, Vincente Padilla and Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

Let’s pause for a moment and note that one of those guys is considered the biggest jerk in the game and another one got ripped for going to a charity function earlier this year.

Anyway, you know that this has to be true and that the front office is really, really mad. How do you know this?  Because the front office issued a statement saying that the team was “well represented” at the funeral.  And the source telling the Herald that the team is angry is — and I am not making this up — “Someone Who Knows.”

But hey, maybe “Someone Who Knows” is right and there is anger about the attendance at the funeral.  Know what’s worse than that, though?  The fact that “Someone Who Knows” thinks it’s nice and appropriate to use a man’s funeral in service of the season-long blame game being played by Red Sox staff.

Some men just want to watch the world burn.  They all live in Massachusetts and work for the Sox, apparently.

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.