UPDATE: Ryan Howard lifted with sprained left ankle

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UPDATE, 2:58 PM:  X-rays on both his left elbow and left ankle were negative, reports David Murphy of the Philadelphia Inquirer.  Howard will miss a few days because of the sprain, but it appears that the Phillies have avoided a major scare.

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UPDATE, 2:09 PM:  Howard’s injury is being called a left ankle sprain, according to MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki.  He will undergo X-rays to ensure that there is no serious structural damage.

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2:02 PM:  Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard had to be helped off the field Sunday after apparently injuring his left knee or ankle while running the bases in the first inning.  The scene was capture here in this photo posted by Major League Baseball’s official Twitter page.

Howard, batting .292 with an .884 OPS, 23 homers and 81 RBI, was replaced at first base by Cody Ransom.

A ‘Mystery Team’ may be in on Gerrit Cole. What does that mean?

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“Mystery Team” is a term invented by Jon Heyman at the 2010 Winter Meetings in Florida. That’s when he published a rumor in Sports Illustrated that then-free agent pitcher Cliff Lee was being courted by “the Texas Rangers, New York Yankees and a third mystery team.” He added — and I am not making this up — that “the mystery team remains a mystery and is also seen as a long shot.” That’s a heck of a line.

The whole “Mystery Team” thing was initially seen as a joke — and by some as Heyman trying to sound plugged in when he didn’t know anything — but he showed all of us when, the very next day, Cliff Lee signed with the Phillies who were, in fact, the “Mystery Team.”  With that a meme was born, and Heyman has owned it since then, mostly ironically, but certainly as a part of his personal brand. I’ve long been critical of Heyman for a lot of things, but the “mystery team” thing is kind of fun, actually. Takes some of the seriousness out of all of this. It’s certainly put his own stamp on his beat.

Welp, we got another one today:

I like to poke fun at the concept of “Mystery Team,” but given where the bidding is already, I don’t think that Cole needs a phony rumor of another bidder in order to inflate his market. He’s gonna make bank. As such, I’m willing to believe that there is, in fact, an unnamed team in the bidding.

I feel like we’ll find out soon.