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So, do Yankees fans cheer for A-Rod tonight?

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Maybe that’s a totally stupid question. I’ll admit, it’s a bit talk radio at the very least. It’s not terribly important in the grand or small scheme of things, but it’s something that I’m genuinely wondering about and what is a blog if not a vehicle for examining the things which hold the blogger’s interest?

My guess: half-boos, a quarter cheers and a quarter indifference.

They’ll only report the boos, of course, because its has become all but required that we cast Alex Rodriguez in as negative a light as possible, but I really do not believe there will be some unanimous condemnation of A-Rod in Yankee Stadium. We’re supposed to pretend otherwise, but lots of folks are simply baseball fans and don’t give a rip what went into the performance. They boo the bad performances and cheer the good ones and at the moment (a) A-Rod has no performances in front of them this year; and (b) his replacements have been so godawful that I’m pretty sure Yankees fans would cheer for Mussolini if he showed up and could play a competent third base and show some pop.

As for the boos: I bet a third of those are from people mad at the steroids stuff, a third mad at the A-Rod/strained quad media circus and a third who are still angry at how poorly he played during the playoffs last year.

Not that we’ll know, and not that the media will go with any narrative more A-Rod-friendly than “a cool reaction for Rodriguez.” But I bet it’s a lot more complicated in the mind of the Yankees fan base than it is in the minds of the soapboxers.

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.