Did Brewers' celebration go too far?

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Sunday’s extra-inning affair between
the Brewers and Giants was everything you could ask for in a September
baseball game. A little bit of history, the Brewers turned a
triple-play for the first time since 1999. The game had plenty of
drama, too, ultimately being decided on a 12th inning walk-off blast by
Prince Fielder. The loss knocked the Giants two games behind the
Rockies in the Wild Card race. So why am I writing about this on Monday?




Upon rounding the bases after his
game-winning homer, Fielder untucked his uniform, seemingly setting
things up to toss his helmet as he approached home plate, a popular and
accepted form of celebration in recent years. However, the Brewers went
against the grain, using a choreographed celebration where when Fielder touched the plate, he extended his arms to the sky and his teammates fell to the ground around
him. With even veterans like Craig Counsell taking part, it was a
ridiculous piece of theatre that
won’t be forgotten by the Giants any time soon.



“Did you see that celebration?” bench coach Ron Wotus
asked. “You would like to think professionals would have a lot more
respect for the game and their opponents. That was choreographed.”




Yet, if you were to read the recaps
this morning, you’ll see the incident celebrated in pictures and
highlights. I’m no Yankees fan, but imagine if this was Alex Rodriguez?
The criticism would be overwhelming. Fielder is getting a pass today. No bones about it.




Surely the Brewers may have thought
twice about doing this if they were going to face the Giants again on
Monday, but don’t be surprised to see Fielder catch one in the back or
worse when he faces them next season.

Phillies owner John Middleton is in Las Vegas with Bryce Harper

Bryce Harper
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Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that Phillies owner John Middleton flew to Las Vegas for a meeting with Bryce Harper on Friday. Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, it’s “more of a meet-and-greet than a sign-a-deal” affair, but as the club is still at the forefront of trade rumors involving the All-Star slugger, there remains a possibility (however slight) that something could be completed in the days to come.

Even now, the Phillies aren’t alone in the race to sign Harper, but recent rumors have helped whittle down the competition from five or more teams (Phillies, Nationals, White Sox, Giants, and Padres) to three strong contenders. The Giants are said to be interested in a lucrative short-term deal with the outfielder, while the Padres remain in the conversation despite inking Manny Machado to a mammoth 10-year, $300 million contract this week. It’s not yet clear just how far either team would go to outbid Philadelphia as talks with Harper intensify.

As for the Nationals and White Sox, the former officially bowed out earlier today, and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman adds that the latter won’t make a strong play for Harper as they feel the asking price and competing offers are “getting too high” for the 26-year-old’s services. If a mystery team is still in the mix, there’s been no word on their standing with Harper in the last month or so.