Angels won’t change clubhouse alcohol policy after signing Josh Hamilton

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A few years ago Josh Hamilton avoided the Rangers’ clubhouse celebration because beer and champagne were being sprayed (and consumed) all over the place and later the Rangers switched to ginger ale so Hamilton would feel comfortable taking part in the festivities despite his history of alcohol and drug problems.

It remains to be seen how the Angels will celebrate if/when they get to the playoffs or win a postseason series, but Hamilton’s new team doesn’t plan to alter their overall clubhouse alcohol policy:

Pretty standard across baseball, although certainly not standard in other professions. What percentage of people work at a place where drinking alcohol is not only allowed, but the alcohol is actually provided by their employers? Even us bloggers have to buy our own beer if we wanted to spend the work day drinking*.

* Hypothetically.

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.