Welcome to the Michael Young-hater club, Joe Posnanski!

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I’ve gotten a lot of crap over the past week or so for daring to suggest that Michael Young may be less than Hall-of-Fame-worthy and may be less of the leader that his fan club down in the Metroplex make him out to be.  Saying you want to work someplace else every time someone asks you to change your workflow kind of keeps you out the leadership conversation.

So it was great to see Joe Posnanski hit ’em up in his blog post this morning.  The post itself is about Tim McCarver and Joe Buck — good to see Posnanski hitting them up too — but Young gets a four-paragraph Postersisk up front in the article wondering why on Earth, despite all of his flaws as a player and less-than-leaderly traits, he’s described as the be-all, end-all in those categories by a pliant press.

I’m sure Posnanski will not get a stern talking-to by Evan Grant and others.  Something tells me it will bother him even less than it bothered me.

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.