Lana Berry made a great, albeit depressing observation during the Rays-Angels game last night:
holy s***. Rays played Josh Lueke, Delmon Young, Luke Scott, and Yunel Escobar in the same game. they are really just…going for it, huh?
And by “going for it” she means the good citizen award. Lueke, as most know by now, is a sex offender. Young had his little drunken anti-semitic incident in New York. Yunel Escobar you may know from his homophobic eye black. Luke Scott is baseball’s most famous birther who keeps guns in his couch cushions and once cautioned a black teammate from acting like a “savage” and an “animal.”
Quite a group of citizens on the Rays these days. Makes me wish that old Devil Rays prospect Elijah Dukes and Toe Nash were on the club as elder statesmen. Also makes me wonder which baseball team had the greatest number of criminals, knuckleheads and controversy-creators on the roster at the same time. I guess it depends on whether you consider the early-80s Pirates cocaine use a character issue or one in which guys were afflicted with addiction.
The Rays are certainly something, though.
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.