In case you were wondering why the Reds and Marlins are playing a double header today

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No, it’s not to make up for a previous rainout. It’s to avoid an inevitable one tomorrow thanks to Hurricane Irene. Which, while on course for the Carolinas and points north, will no doubt spit all kinds of rain and yuck at Miami too.  The Marlins made a rescheduling request and MLB said sure.

Given the short notice it’s a two-for-one deal today in Florida, with one ticket getting you in to both games. Festivities begin at 4:10PM.

Hurricanes suck, but if I was in Miami I think it would be all kinds of fun to watch six hours of baseball for, like what, ten bucks? Even that much?

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.