Baseball in Iran? Why, sure!

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Iran has baseball. And a national team. I did not know this. But now, thanks to John Fitzgerald at Baseball United, I do.

John interviewed the coach of the Iranian national team and learned that they’ve been playing baseball in Iran for almsot 20 years. It’s still an extremely niche sport — its Unites States associations aren’t anywhere near as problematic for it as the fact that it is not soccer — but they’ve been playing in some international tournaments against mostly south Asian teams. They even have a Facebook page.

And then there is the video montage, set to Blur because, well, why not?

Cool stuff. Support baseball’s takeover of the world.

White Sox won’t make bid for Bryce Harper

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The White Sox won’t make a bid for free agent outfielder Bryce Harper, Bruce Levine of 670 The Score reports. Believed to be the favorites to land shortstop Manny Machado in free agency, the White Sox watched him ink a 10-year, $300 million contract with the Padres. The club is apparently content with its roster otherwise.

Harper would certainly be an upgrade in the outfield, which currently features Adam Engel, Nicky Delmonico, and Jon Jay. It will soon feature prospects Eloy Jiménez and Luis Robert.

Last season, Harper hit .249/.393/.496 with 34 hom eruns, 100 RBI, 103 runs scored, and 13 stolen bases in 695 plate appearances. He led all of baseball, drawing 130 walks. Harper is also a six-time All-Star who won the 2012 NL Rookie of the Year Award and the 2015 NL Most Valuable Player Award.

The Phillies are still believed to be the favorites to sign Harper and the club is confident it will land him, Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Daily News reports.