Ryan Braun’s popularity has taken a hit

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Nathanial R. alerts me to some public polling in Wisconsin. After all the boring stuff about politicians, we get to this vital item:

After word leaked of his first failed drug test Ryan Braun remained popular in Wisconsin, registering at a 59/7 favorability rating in February of 2012. Voters in the state have had enough following the latest round of revelations though, and now his numbers stand at a 15/39 spread.

Great. Now Braun will never be elected starting left fielder for the Brewers next year.

Also: please re-poll if and when Bruan is hitting home runs and helping the Brewers win baseball games. I sorta feel like that for ballplayers is akin to the economy for politicians. Even if people think the guy in question is a sonofoabitch, they’ll generally put up with him as long as things are going well.

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.