Bryce Harper is naked in ESPN’s “Body Issue”

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On the one hand, the “Body Issue” is a transparent attempt by ESPN to sell magazines via the objectification of the human form in a time of the year when only one major team sport is active and people are generally not buying a ton of magazines. On the other hand, unlike “Sports Illustrated,” ESPN objectifies men as well as women, at least making things fair. Oh, and they also, on occasion, put people like Prince Fielder in the thing so as to not totally conform to b.s. unrealistic body standards.

So, it’s not great, but it’s better than what came before. And that’s something, right?

Something else that is something: Bryce Harper’s physique. Which, mercy:

I mean, I GUESS he’s in pretty decent shape. I mean, for a ballplayer. At least if you’re into things like “health” and “low body fat” and “muscular definition” and all of that nonsense.

Not that Harper agrees he’s perfect. From the accompanying article:

I wish my abs were a little bit better. God gave me a great body, but I think my abs could be better than they are.

Yeah. Um, I was gonna say that too. Really, dude, work a bit more. Have some friggin’ pride in your appearance, will ya?

Oakland Athletics reverse course: will continue to pay minor leaguers

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Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher has reversed course and will continue to pay minor leaguers. Fisher tells Slusser, “I concluded I made a mistake.” He said he is also setting up an assistance fund for furloughed employees.

The A’s decided in late May to stop paying paying minor leaguers as of June 1, which was the earliest date on which any club could do so after an MLB-wide agreement to pay minor leaguers through May 31 expired. In the event, the A’s were the only team to stop paying the $400/week stipends to players before the end of June. Some teams, notable the Royals and Twins, promised to keep the payments up through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended. The Washington Nationals decided to lop off $100 of the stipends last week but, after a day’s worth of blowback from the media and fans, reversed course themselves.