Setting the stage for Game 4

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– Cliff Lee thinks he could have started Game 4, but Charlie Manuel says he didn’t have to think very long before going with Joe Blanton.



– Ed Price of AOL Fanhouse reports
that MLB has made sure that Fox will move the right field camera back
so we won’t have a repeat of Alex Rodriguez’s reviewed home run from
Saturday night.




– Mike Sielski of the Bucks County Courier Times thinks that Brett Myers should have thrown at Nick Swisher last night.



– As expected, Joe Girardi announced that A.J. Burnett will start Game 5 against Cliff Lee on Monday night. Burnett is 4-0 with a 2.33 ERA in four career starts on three days’ rest — he did it three times with the Blue Jays in 2008.

– Charlie Manuel was “surprised” by Cole Hamels’ comments following Game 3.

– And finally, ESPN caught up with some “long-suffering Yankees fans” who are too young to remember their last World Series victory in 2000.

Note: Be sure to join me for a live chat of Game 4. First pitch is scheduled for 8:20 pm ET.

The Nationals expect Bryce Harper to test free agency

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Earlier this week at the Winter Meetings, Scott Boras said that he and the Washington Nationals had had preliminary discussions about a contract extension for Bryce Harper. Harper, of course, can become a free agent following the 2018 season and is widely expected to command the largest contract in baseball history.

While that may have given some Nationals fans hope that no other team would get the chance to bid on him, the Nationals are of the view that they have no shot to sign Harper before he at least tests the free agent market. From USA Today’s Bob Nightengale:

A lot of this seems like mutual posturing, doesn’t it? Boras trying to make it appear as though the he and Harper are giving the Nats a fair hearing and the Nats trying to make it appear as though, no matter what they do, Harper is going to hit the market. I tend to believe, personally, that Boras and Harper are hellbent on testing the market, but it’s possible that there is some number that the Nats can offer to head that off, right? Maybe?

Either way: big year ahead for Harper.