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St. Louis, Boston breweries stage World Series bets

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The fine folks at Schlafly Brand Beer in St. Louis — try their outstanding Pumpkin Ale or Coffee Stout if you ever get a chance — have established World Series bets with two Boston-based breweries, Harpoon and Boston Beer Company (the makers of Sam Adams). From the Beer Employee Blog at Schlafly.com:

The wager between our fearless leader, Dan Kopman and Harpoon president Dan Kenary is fairly straightforward. Whoever loses has to put a keg of beer from the other brewery on tap at their tasting room. If St. Louis loses, look for a keg of Harpoon IPA pour from our Schlafly Tap Room taps. If the Cardinals prevail…when the Cardinals prevail, beer drinkers visiting Harpoon in Boston will have a chance to taste what 12 World Series Championships tastes like. And by that we mean to say that 12 World Series Championships tastes like Schlafly Beer… just to be clear.

Dan Kopman and Samuel Adams founder, Jim Koch also got to talking about the upcoming Series, and decided that a bet was in order. Before all was said and done, Jim had offered up two cases of Boston Lager and a lobster dinner. Not to be outdone, Dan not only offered up some Schlafly Pale Ale and BBQ dinner from Pappy’s Smokehouse… he then raised the stakes to include the losing city shipping off a brewer, all expense paid, to the winning city’s brewery to help brew a victory beer.

I happen to live right across the street from the Schlafly Tap Room, so this all makes me very happy.

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.