Masahiro Tanaka feels good after playing catch

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There are some people out there who call it “having a catch.” These are the same godless heathens who insist upon saying one has to “stand on line” instead of stand “in line.” I’ll give them their use of “soda” over “pop” because that’s just common sense, but I will not abide “have a catch.” Anyway:

“Sweaty and smiling” would be a great name for the debut album of a second-tier southern boogie band in the 1970s. A band that opened for Molly Hatchet at the civic center that time. You remember: when your big brother’s friend gave you your first beer and you felt like a big man? Those were the days.

Anyway: that’s all I got on Tanaka. They Yankees are only a game and a half out of the wild card, so there’s a non-trivial chance they could use him in the last month of the season.

Bryce Harper will participate in the Home Run Derby if he makes the All-Star team

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Bryce Harper has, in recent years, declined participation in the Home Run Derby, with his last go at it coming in 2013, losing to Yoenis Cespedes in the final round. With the All-Star Game taking place at Nationals Park in Washington, however, he has changed his mind, saying today that he will compete if he is selected for the All-Star team.

Harper is currently second in voting among National League outfielders, so he stands a pretty good chance of making it. Even if he falls off in the voting, you have to assume that the powers that be will nudge NL manager A.J. Hinch to select Harper as a reserve, partially because of his actual power — he does have 19 homers so far this year — but mostly for his star power.

Simply put, you know dang well that both Major League Baseball and the Nationals want a home town guy with big time star power in the Derby, even if he’s not having as good a year as he’s capable of. As such, figure to see Harper hitting long balls in D.C. on July 16.