Hawk Harrelson is a finalist for the Ford Frick Award

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I’m just gonna leave this here:

Hey, there are people who like Hawk. They are almost all White Sox fans who, when you press them, talk about Hawk as a “familiar voice” or someone with whom they have nice associations with White Sox baseball. Rarely, however, do they say that they actually think he’s a particularly good announcer. Just that they sort of like him. In this way Harrelson to his fans is a lot like “Fat Bottomed Girls” is for me. Something that makes me feel good when I hear it but, when asked to assess its actual merit in objective terms, well, I can’t really do it.

The Frick Award, though, is not about warm fuzzies felt by a minority of partisans. It’s presented by the National Baseball Hall of Fame to a broadcaster for his or her “major contributions to baseball.”  I suppose his introduction of the term “he gone!” has some value — I’ve used that, like, three times on Twitter in the past four years, I believe — but I don’t know if it’s “major.”

Anyway, Good luck, Hawk. I’m sure you’re a nice man and that you’ll say interesting things if you win it.

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.