Report: Phillies in mix to acquire Halladay

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SI.con’s Jon Heyman is hearing the Phillies are in the mix for Roy Halladay, along with the Angels, Yankees and Red Sox.
The Phillies are supposed to be just about out of money after signing Placido Polanco and loading up their bench, though they have kept enough in reserve to land a setup man along the lines of Brandon Lyon. Ownership, though, might be willing to go above and beyond in order to bring in Halladay and make the team the overwhelming favorite to represent the NL in the World Series for the third straight year.
Halladay will make $14.6 million next season, but it’d really be more of a $7.5 million obligation for the Phillies, considering that a Halladay acquisition would almost surely result in Joe Blanton being sold off. Blanton might even fetch the eighth-inning guy the Phillies desire, whether it be George Sherrill or someone else.
The Phillies also have the talent to pull off a move. The Blue Jays would want three players from a group of four: RHP Kyle Drabek, OF Domonic Brown, LHP J.A. Happ and OF Michael Taylor. However, they might be willing to settle for two and lesser prospects, as long as either Drabek or Brown is involved. It doesn’t seem likely anyone else has stepped up with a big offer yet.

Alex Bregman shows how easy it is to manufacture “controversy” in baseball

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In most sports it takes legitimate trash talk to create off-day “controversy.” In baseball, it takes the weakest sauce. We saw how weak that sauce was yesterday.

Alex Bregman and the Houston Astros are going to face off against Nate Eovaldi and the Boston Red Sox in Game 3 of the ALCS tonight. It’s worth noting that earlier this season, they hit back-to-back-to-back home runs off of Eovaldi when he was pitching for the Tampa Bay Rays.

Yesterday, in an act which was likely somewhat inspired by self-motivation, somewhat inspired by getting in Eovaldi’s head and somewhat inspired by a simple interest in having fun, Bregman took the video of those back-to-back-to-back homers off of Eovaldi and posted it to his Instagram:

Of course, since this is baseball, where even farting off-key can be construed as “showing up” the opposition or somehow disrespecting the game, it became a thing. Or at least people tried to make it become a thing.

Indeed, it took them a bit to find someone who would help them make it a thing, because Eovaldi himself didn’t care about it a bit, nor did Astros manager A.J. Hinch or Red Sox manager Alex Cora. Eventually, however, they hit pay dirt. Here’s Sox infielder Steve Pearce talking to WEEI.com:

“Wow. I don’t know why he would do that. We do our talking on the field. If he wants to run his mouth now we’ll see who is talking at the end of the series.”

My guess is that almost no one on the planet, Steve Pearce included, would care about this in a vacuum or if they allowed themselves to think through it for more than a second. Baseball culture, though — and let’s be clear about it, baseball media culture — has conditioned most of its players and participants to think that stuff like this is supposed to be controversial, so it actually takes effort not to start dancing to this kind of tune on auto-pilot.

Kudos to Hinch, Cora and Eolvaldi for exerting that effort and not dancing to it. To the press that automatically sought out comment on this and Pearce who dutifully gave it: hey, I get it. It’s hard to resist one’s conditioning. Maybe you’ll be able to resist it next time.