The Canadian anthem was given short shrift at the All-Star Game

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Justin Morneau is a bit miffed
at last night’s pregame protocol which had Sheryl Crow singing the
United States’ national anthem, but merely a pre-recorded instrumental
version of “O Canada”:

“I wasn’t very impressed with that to tell you the truth. You figure
they could find somebody to come and sing the song. They have a hockey
team here, the Canadian teams play here. It’s something that didn’t
really go over too well. I think if it happened the other way around,
if they were playing in Toronto and they did that, it would have been a
lot bigger deal. But nothing you can do about it.”

He’s absolutely right to note that people here would be freaking the
hell out if they dissed “The Star Spangled Banner” like that. And even
if there weren’t many Canadians present — other than Morneau, dual
citizen Jason Bay was the only other Canuck on either of the rosters —
“O Canada” is a beautiful song in its own right, and deserved the same
treatment as the U.S. anthem.

I somehow suspect that U.S.-Canadian relations will survive this
incident without shots being fired, but still: bad form, baseball.

Padres may have more interest in Dallas Keuchel than Bryce Harper

Dallas Keuchel
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An interesting tidbit today from The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, who noted that ongoing talks between agent Scott Boras and the Padres have focused more on starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel than slugger Bryce Harper. Earlier this week, there were conflicting reports on the Padres’ level of interest in Harper — MLB Network’s Jon Heyman heard the club had not ruled out another big signing after getting Manny Machado, while Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune talked to multiple sources who believed otherwise — but any agreement between the two is looking unlikelier by the day.

As for Keuchel, Rosenthal cautions that a potential deal is still a “longshot,” especially as the team has other, cheaper options in mind. The 31-year-old southpaw turned down a qualifying offer from the Astros last year and is likely angling for something north of the five-year, $90 million contract extension he rejected from the club in 2016. He’s coming off of another solid performance in Houston, where he went 12-11 in 34 starts with a 3.74 ERA, 2.6 BB/9, 6.7 SO/9, and 3.6 fWAR through 204 2/3 innings in 2018.

While Keuchel has failed to garner substantial interest around the league this offseason, Heyman points out that the Phillies are looking to establish themselves as frontrunners for the lefty — and they’re far less likely to have hang-ups about his asking price, too.