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Athletics choose Sonny Gray over Bartolo Colon for ALDS Game 5 start versus Tigers

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We finally have an answer to the question of who the A’s will start in their decisive ALDS Game 5 against the Tigers on Thursday evening at O.Co Coliseum.

Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that it will be 23-year-old Sonny Gray rather than veteran Bartolo Colon. Gray had a 2.67 ERA in 64 regular-season innings and hurled eight scoreless innings in the A’s Game 2 win. Colon posted a 2.65 ERA in 190 1/3 regular-season innings — a much larger sample size — but the Tigers tagged him for three runs on 10 hits in his six-inning Game 1 defeat.

The winner of Thursday’s ALDS Game 5 will face the Red Sox in the best-of-seven ALCS.

Detroit will be starting ace right-hander Justin Verlander against Oakland.

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.

Royals sign Danny Duffy to a five-year, $65 million contract extension

KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 02:  Starting pitcher Danny Duffy #41 of the Kansas City Royals pitches during the game against the Detroit Tigers at Kauffman Stadium on September 2, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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The Kansas City Royals have signed starter Danny Duffy to a five-year, $65 million contract extension.

Duffy was arbitration eligible this offseason and would’ve been a free agent next winter if he hadn’t signed the deal. Given his stuff he might’ve made a mint as a free agent, but he’s also been inconsistent at times and any pitcher is an injury away from losing a payday, making this a nice, lucrative bet for the lefty.

Duffy, 28, posted a 3.51 ERA and a 188/42 K/BB ratio across 179.2 innings in 2016.