Rich Harden’s deal fell through over — wait for it — his medical records

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Seeing Rich Harden’s trade to the Red Sox go sideways late last night was rather surprising and rather odd, but now that we know the reason, it’s not that surprising after all:  the Red Sox called it off after looking at his medical records.

Shocking, I know. Here’s how WEEI’s Alex Speier reports it:

A review of medicals after an agreement on the parameters of the deal, according to a baseball source, led to uncertainty about what kind of contribution the Red Sox could expect from Harden down the stretch, and whether he would be able to make enough starts to justify the trade.

I’m sure that “because his medical records are as long as ‘War and Peace’ and as dense as ‘Ulysses’ thus no one in Boston could even get through them” had something to do with it too. They probably found sixteen types of fractures and strains that were heretofore unknown to medical science. I wouldn’t be shocked if there was also information suggesting that Harden has a vestigial twin or something. And that the vestigial twin is injured too.

Speier says that it is unlikely that talks between Boston and Oakland will resume, so this deal is more than mostly dead. It’s just dead.

Yankees GM Brian Cashman not considering demoting struggling Greg Bird

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Yankees first baseman Greg Bird gave his team tons of confidence to hand him the everyday job at first base to start the 2017 regular season, batting .451/.556/1.098 with eight home runs in 51 spring at-bats. But he’s followed that up by hitting .107/.254/.214 through the first month of the regular season.

GM Brian Cashman doesn’t have any intent to demote Bird back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports. Cashman said, “It’s not even an option for me in my mind right now, at all.”

Bird didn’t start Sunday’s game against the Orioles, a 7-4 loss in 11 innings. Lefty Wade Miley started for the Orioles, prompting manager Joe Girardi to put Chris Carter into the lineup at first base. If Bird isn’t able to figure things out, Carter might have an increased role on the team.

Chris Archer threw behind Jose Bautista

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Rays starter Chris Archer threw his first pitch to Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista behind the slugger’s back with one out in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Toronto. Bautista and Archer then had a staredown. Home plate umpire Jim Wolf issued warnings to both teams. Bautista ultimately flied out to right field and he appeared to have a quick word with Archer on his way back to the dugout.

Archer could have been exacting revenge — euphemistically known as “protecting his teammate” — because Jays reliever Joe Biagini hit Rays outfielder Steven Souza in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game. Souza was forced to leave the game and underwent an X-ray, which came back negative. He was held out of Sunday’s lineup. Biagini’s pitch did not appear to be intentional.

The Jays won Sunday’s contest 3-1 with no further incident. The two clubs meet again in Tampa for a three-game series starting on May 5, so we’ll see if Sunday was the last of the bad blood between them.