Bryce Harper: Philly has “a great fan base”

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Man, sometimes it’s like people don’t want to throw chum in the water and make life easy for hater bloggers like me. From Brookover’s latest:

Harper also showed some reverence toward the city and also displayed a keen sense of Philadelphia’s sports history by naming some old-time stars. He named this city as one of the places he was most looking forward to play.

“Definitely, coming in here and playing the Phillies who have been a great team and coming into a place that has a lot of history and a great organization,” Harper said. “You’re playing in a place where Mike Schmidt and guys like that played. It’s going to be a lot of fun in here. They have a great fan base and we’re going to come in here and try to prove some people wrong.”

That quote came before the fans (somewhat inexplicably) booed him every time he came to the plate last night. The fans obviously couldn’t have read his words beforehand, of course.  I do wonder, however, if the tune will soon change given words like these and given the fact that, based on is demeanor and his performances against the Phillies so far, he has done nothing to earn the jeers.

(hat tip to ‘Cepts, who shall remain in commenter exile but, having been struck down by me, has become more powerful than I ever realized).

Report: Welington Castillo to be suspended 80 games for violating Joint Drug Agreement

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic confirms a report from journalist Américo Celado that White Sox catcher Welington Castillo will be suspended 80 games for violating baseball’s Joint Drug Agreement. Castillo was believed to have used a steroid, but according to Rosenthal, the substance was not a steroid. More details should come on Thursday.

Castillo, 31, entered Wednesday’s action batting .270/.314/.477 with six home runs and 15 RBI in 118 plate appearances. He has gotten the bulk of the work behind the plate, backed up by Omar Narváez.

Castillo’s absence will likely prompt the White Sox to call up Kevan Smith from Triple-A Charlotte. Smith battled an ankle injury in March and April, so he got a late start to the season. In 102 PA at Triple-A, he has hit .283/.343/.457.