Bryce Harper was barfing between innings last night, bro

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And the dude still went 4 for 5. Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com:

He received an IV before the game. He had to excuse himself during the second inning to go vomit. He felt his head spinning every time he tried to swing a bat. He had to hunch over several times after running the bases.

And he gave a bunch of “doing what I can to help the ballclub” quotes afterward. So he’s a pro on the field and in the clubhouse despite his bodily fluids not wanting to stay where they’re supposed to.

I know there’s a hidden data problem at work here — we notice when things happen but don’t notice when they don’t happen –but I’m always amazed by these stories about athletes having great games with the flu. I read something once, can’t for the life of me remember where, where an athlete tried to explain a good night he had with the flu. His answer was some version of “the only thing that kept me from wanting to barf and die was focusing on what I was doing at the moment.” I don’t know if there’s anything to that. But it sort of sounds like how focusing on a TV show or something helps you forget when you’re laid up in bed with some bug.

Except, unlike us, athletes actually can do things besides watch “The Price is Right.”

There is, indeed, an MLB-to-Portland group

Associated Press
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On Monday, Baseball America reported that MLB is prepared to expand to Portland and Montreal. We talked about that at length yesterday. One of the most common responses to that piece has been “Portland? Really?”

There’s good reason for that response. Baseball-to-Portland has been talked about for years, but there has never been any real traction. Past initiatives have failed, significant public funding for a stadium seems to be a political impossibility and, heck, Portland wasn’t even interested in keeping its Triple-A team, turning its stadium into a much more successful soccer venue and not missing the Beavers all that much.

It would seem, however, that the reports are not mere speculation and there is a genuine baseball-to-Portland initiative afoot once again. From the Oregonian:

On Tuesday, former Trail Blazers broadcaster Mike Barrett confirmed to The Oregonian/OregonLive that he is part of the Portland group.

“I am officially involved with a campaign to bring Major League Baseball and a stadium development to Portland,” Barrett said. “There is also a formally organized, sophisticated and seasoned management group running this initiative. We will keep you fully apprised of any/all developments as this project progresses.”

One guy — a broadcaster no less — saying he’s part of a group is not exactly a major needle-mover, of course. But it does contrast with past Portland initiatives that have been well-publicized grassroots affairs. While those may have been more broad-based and while their public nature may have provided some refreshing transparency, the simple fact of professional sports ownership in the 21st century is that well-monied groups who play things close to the vest are more likely to make waves. We’re in an age when technocratic hedge fund-type guys make things happen in this arena, not in an age when flamboyant public personalities do.

None of which is to say that baseball in Portland is a lock or that expansion anywhere is a short term proposition. It’s just to note that, yeah, there is a bit more going on, it seems, than just pointing at a map and saying “yeah, a team would make sense here.”