hawk harrelson

Hawk Harrelson is a finalist for the Ford Frick Award

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I’m just gonna leave this here:

Hey, there are people who like Hawk. They are almost all White Sox fans who, when you press them, talk about Hawk as a “familiar voice” or someone with whom they have nice associations with White Sox baseball. Rarely, however, do they say that they actually think he’s a particularly good announcer. Just that they sort of like him. In this way Harrelson to his fans is a lot like “Fat Bottomed Girls” is for me. Something that makes me feel good when I hear it but, when asked to assess its actual merit in objective terms, well, I can’t really do it.

The Frick Award, though, is not about warm fuzzies felt by a minority of partisans. It’s presented by the National Baseball Hall of Fame to a broadcaster for his or her “major contributions to baseball.”  I suppose his introduction of the term “he gone!” has some value — I’ve used that, like, three times on Twitter in the past four years, I believe — but I don’t know if it’s “major.”

Anyway, Good luck, Hawk. I’m sure you’re a nice man and that you’ll say interesting things if you win it.

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.