Wally the Green Monster to take a tour of Japan

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I get a lot of press releases about promotional things, odd events, weird ceremonies, goodwill trips and the like. Most of them are kind of boring. This one is fun:

Red Sox relief pitchers Junichi Tazawa and closer Koji Uehara, who was named the American League Championship Series Most Valuable Player, and Wally the Green Monster will visit Tokyo to share the 2013 Commissioner’s Trophy, presented annually to the World Series Champions, with baseball fans in Japan.

Uehara and Wally will present the World Series trophy and a Red Sox jersey to the Prime Minister Shinzō Abe. Then there will be a reception with U.S. ambassador Caroline Kennedy. Then a fan reception and then a thing at at something I did not know existed: the MLB Café which is “an MLB themed restaurant serving a menu inspired by American ballpark food.”

Hope they have helmet nachos there. I’m never going to a country where I can’t be sure I can get helmet nachos.

Report: Manny Machado deal between Orioles, Dodgers may have hit a snag

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Steve Phillips of MLB Network Radio reports that one or more of the prospects headed from the Dodgers to the Orioles in the Manny Machado deal have issues with their physicals. As a result, the trade may have hit a snag and the door may be open for other clubs. So far, it appears that Phillips is the only one reporting this, but things have otherwise been quiet on the Machado front since last night’s news.

According to Fancred’s Jon Heyman, Dodgers outfield prospect Yusniel Diaz is believed to be the centerpiece of the deal. The Dodgers apparently prefer to hold on to pitching prospect Dustin May and middle infield prospect Gavin Lux.

The first-place Dodgers have been playing Chris Taylor at shortstop since Corey Seager went down with a season-ending injury. The club has also gotten minimal production out of second base, which has mostly been handled by Logan Forsythe and Chase Utley. Adding Machado to play shortstop would allow Taylor to move over to second base.

Machado, 26, hit .315/.387/.575 with 24 home runs, 65 RBI, 48 runs scored, and eight stolen bases in 413 plate appearances in the first half. Defensive metrics have rated his defense at shortstop as subpar, uncharacteristically.