Major League Baseball issues a statement on the Braves surprise new stadium

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What, you were expecting Bud Selig — a guy who was able to get to where he is because the Braves skipped his town back  in the mid-60s — to pan the idea of a taxpayer-funded ballpark designed to further enrich baseball owners?

“The Braves have kept us apprised of their stadium situation throughout this process.  Major League Baseball fully supports their decision to move to a new ballpark in Atlanta for the 2017 season, and we look forward to their continued excellence representing their community, both on and off the field.”

Note the “in Atlanta.” The Braves are pushing that angle too, making it clear on their site that they aren’t leaving Atlanta. Which, regionally speaking, no, they’re not, but they won’t be in the city anymore. And what is left will be a large, basically new but utterly useless stadium which taxpayers will continue to maintain until it is prematurely wrecked.

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.