WASHINGTON — The Royals are going to have to work on their nicknames as far as President Barack Obama is concerned. Everything else was looking pretty good as he honored the 2015 World Series champions at the White House on Thursday, describing them as one of the "grittiest, most complete teams we've seen in a long time."
The Royals last visited the White House in 1985 when President Ronald Reagan saluted their "never-say-die spirit" in the Rose Garden. The 2015 team showed the same quality. Six outs away from playoff elimination, the Royals scored seven to beat the Astros. They went on to win that series and to beat the Blue Jays and Mets.
Obama also acknowledged that it had been a long time between visits to the White House for Kansas City. "Let's face it, it's been a long road for Royals fans," Obama said. "There were some dark years, some tough decades."
But Obama said that began to change when GM Dayton Moore was hired and the Royals started to develop talented players through their farm system. Among them: OF Alex Gordon, INFs Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer and C Salvador Perez.
Obama called the players by their nicknames, "Gordo," "Moose," "Hos" and "Salvy." But the president didn't seem to find those too creative.
"We're going to have to work on these," Obama said.
A'S: RHP Jesse Hahn, a former Rays farmhand, will be recalled from Triple-A Nashville to start Sunday against Tampa Bay. He'll replace LHP Rich Hill, out with a blister.
CUBS: OF Dexter Fowler, who hasn't played since June 18 because of a right hamstring strain, said he was "ready to go" a day after resuming a minor-league rehab assignment with Triple-A Iowa. RH reliever Joe Nathan is expected to join him in the majors today or Saturday.
DODGERS: OF Yasiel Puig left the game with right hamstring tightness in the seventh inning.
Orioles: RHP Hunter Harvey, 21, one of the team's top prospects, is set for Tommy John surgery.