Philadelphia Phillies v Los Angeles Dodgers

Jimmy Rollins is not disappointed by the Phillies’ disappointing road trip. So what?

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Jimmy Rollins gave this quote to Jim Saisbury of CSNPhilly.com and the Phillies press corps after yesterday’s loss to the Dodgers:

Manuel was disappointed by his team’s showing in the series.

Jimmy Rollins was not.

“No,” he said. “I’m not disappointed at all. This series could have been 3-1 in either direction or 2-2. They played a little better. They got the job done and that’s all that matters … It’s a journey,” he said. “You jump on that plane and enjoy the ride. As long as that plane is in the air, you have a chance to do something. Last I checked, we haven’t made it to the All-Star break. We’ve been in tougher positions with much less time.”

And they have, at least narrowly speaking. I mean, the outlook for Philly looks dire because of where they are age/health/talent-wise, but Rollins is correct to note that the team has, during his many years in Philly, played poorly only to bounce back. And he’s also right that it’s a journey and the season is long. Nevertheless that hasn’t stopped some from jumping on Rollins for this bit of perspective:

This is insanity, of course. What would you have Rollins say?  Even if an analyst can see that this Phillies team isn’t likely to turn into the ’08 version of the team again, it’s crazy to expect a player on that team to not believe it’s possible and, thus, have a bit of hope even when things look dire. If he said “yeah, you’re right, we’re toast” he’d get roasted from the other direction.

If a player says something crazy stupid, sure, I get it, it’s news. But when we’re sitting and parsing one version of a cliche because it wasn’t like the other cliches we tend to hear, we’re in loopy land.

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.