Mark Teixeira destroys Bobby Wilson

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BobbyWilsonTeixeira.jpgAngels catcher Bobby Wilson, who was making his first major league start on Friday, was forced to leave the game after being barreled over by Mark Teixeira while trying to block the plate in the third inning.

According to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times, Wilson was diagnosed with a left ankle sprain and a concussion. He was taken to an area hospital for a CT scan and X-rays.

Following the game, Teixeira expressed regret for the incident:

“I feel terrible. It makes me sick,” Teixeira said. “You never want to
hurt a guy. I was going to slide, but as soon as I saw him learning toward
me, I thought, ‘OK, he’s got the ball, I’ve got to knock it loose.’
Every time I’m in that position I try to protect myself by lowering my
shoulder.”

Upon first glance, it doesn’t appear that the collision was necessary, but with repeated viewings you’ll see that Teixeira didn’t even recognize that the ball had ricocheted away from Wilson. Even Angels manager and former catcher
Mike Scioscia called it “a clean play.” Some Angels’ players disagree, including Torii Hunter, who said Teixeira appeared to be “on a mission,” but I really think you have to give him the benefit of the doubt here.

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.