VIDEO: Fan at Pirates game catches baseball with popcorn bucket

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OK, this is pretty awesome.

Let’s take you to the top of the third inning of last night’s game between the Cardinals and Pirates at PNC Park in Pittsburgh. Cardinals third baseman and leadoff man Matt Carpenter slashed a foul ball into the left field stands. One fan was left with a decision to use his hands to catch the ball or to improvise. He improvised, and well, it went pretty awesome:

Popcorn explosion! That’s called being resourceful. Well done.

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.