If you’ve watched the playoffs you’ve probably seen the State Farm insurance commercial featuring Kerry Wood pulling Andre Dawson out of the ivy at Wrigley Field.
It’s been playing on a non-stop loop all month, although it’s amusing enough that the baseball-watching world hasn’t completely turned against it and Dawson is loving the reaction.
“It’s been off the charts,” Dawson told Mike Bernardino of the South Florida Sun Sentinel. “Everywhere I go, people are saying, ‘Hey, I saw the commercial. Good job.’ Now I’ve got more friends than I can imagine.”
Bernardino has the details on how the commercial was shot:
Turns out there was no green-screen technology required to make the “Hawk” look like he’d been stuck in the famed ivy all these years. All it took was a rectangular table, some makeup-room magic and a little extra ivy to cover up a door in the right-field wall. The production crew opened the now-hidden door and had Dawson, 58, lie Superman-style on the sheet-covered table. Each time Wood reached in, Dawson would hand him a different item.
It’s nowhere near the worst constantly running commercial of the postseason and if nothing else seeing Wood and Dawson a million times beats “Frank TV.”
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.
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.