It was 23 degrees for the first pitch of the Braves-Rockies game. It’s the coldest game on record at Coors Field. And it’s the first of a day-night doubleheader. Guys are slaughtering tauntauns out there just to keep warm in between pitches.
In the fourth inning B.J. Upton struck out on a 64 m.p.h. pitch from Jeff Francis. Seconds later Chip Caray, referring to a home run by Evan Gattis — whose nickname is El Oso Blanco — said Gattis hit one “un-BEAR-ably” far.
I love my job and I love the fact that it allows me to sit here and watch baseball at 4:30 on a Tuesday afternoon, but man, this is pretty painful at the moment. Even with my team in the lead.
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.