Alex Rodriguez AP

A-Rod amends his lawsuit, assails Bud Selig’s “cowardly stance”

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Today Alex Rodriguez’s legal team amended the lawsuit A-Rod filed last month. No legal changes. The biggest factual changes are the inclusion of allegations surrounding Bud Selig’s failure to testify at the arbitration. From the Daily News:

They claim the baseball commissioner’s “cowardly stance” is consistent with his highly inappropriate past conduct – and as proof, they included a photo of Selig posing with a young fan wearing a Cincinnati Reds hat and an “A-Roid” T-shirt. “One cannot imagine the commissioner of any other professional sport – or indeed the CEO of any business – doing something similar with respect to one of his or her players or employees,” Team A-Rod said in the papers filed in Manhattan federal court.

Like so much of the original lawsuit and the public relations strategy Team A-Rod has taken since this drama began, this is all calculated to put Major League Baseball in a bad light and to try to make it appear as if A-Rod never had a chance at a fair hearing, thereby justifying their case being heard in court rather than dismissed as redundant. I’m dubious, however, about its legal merit or how successful it’ll be. It’s a lot of bomb-throwing.

The Daily News — which has spent most of the past decade slamming A-Rod one way or another — certainly thinks it lacks merit. So much so that they took a swipe at one of the people cited in the A-Rod complaint:

 

Well, you’re not exactly the New York Times. Pfft.

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.