Bruce Willis bounces ceremonial first pitch in Philly

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Bruce Willis, famous for such films as “Color of Night,” “Hart’s War,” and “Lucky Number Slevin,” — movies I cite because I am not gonna bend over backwards to make “Die Hard” and “Moonlighting” puns like everyone else writing about this — was in Philadelphia last night to throw out the first pitch before the Brewers-Phillies game.

The connection: Willis grew up in South Jersey and was a Phillies fan as a kid. He also once used his super strength to save some kidnapped children from a sadistic janitor while wearing a hooded rain poncho somewhere in the Philadelphia area.

The first pitch: not too great, as the man famous for singing the “đŸŽ¶Seagram’s . . .GOLDEN wine coooler . . . it’s wet and it’s dry . . . MY, MY, MY, MYđŸŽ¶” song in those commercials that some of us of a certain age remember, bounced it in the dirt:

Eh, it happens.

After the game someone actually asked manager Gabe Kapler if “Die Hard” was a Christmas movie:

“I maintain, not a Christmas movie,” Kapler said during a lively debate with beat writers in his office. “Aren’t most Christmas movies centered around the celebration of Christmas in some way or another?”

Um, Gabe? Do you not remember this part?

Who among us has not had a less festive celebration of Christmas with our families than that?

Oh hey, look what I found:

You’re welcome.

The Nationals have inquired about Kris Bryant

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The Washington Nationals, fresh off signing Stephen Strasburg to a $245 million deal, are now turning their attention to their third base hole. Jon Morosi of MLB.com reports that they have made inquiries to the Chicago Cubs about trading for Kris Bryant.

Emphasis on the word “inquiry” because it’d be premature for the Cubs to trade Bryant at the moment, even if they are reported to be considering the possibility.

Bryant and the Cubs are awaiting word from an arbitrator about Bryant’s years-old service time grievance. If Bryant wins, he becomes a free agent after the 2020 season. If the Cubs win they control him for two more years. The team may or may not choose to trade him in either case as they are reportedly trying to cut payroll, but the price for him will vary pretty significantly depending on whether or not the acquiring club will receive one or two years of control over the former MVP.

For Washington, this would be a means of replacing free agent third baseman Anthony Rendon. Or, perhaps, the inquiries are a means of creating a tad more leverage for the Nats as they talk to Rendon’s agent about re-signing him.

Which, in the past, the Nats said they could not do if they also re-signed Strasburg, though I suspect that’s just posturing too. They may not want to spend big money to keep their World Series core together, but they can afford it. They’re going to see, I suspect, an eight-figure uptick in revenue by virtue of being the defending World Series champs. They are poised to receive a significant payout as a result of recent rulings in their own multi-year dispute with the Orioles and the MASN network. They are, of course, owned by billionaire real estate moguls. All of that taken together means that, if they choose to, they can bring back Rendon. Assuming he chooses to come back too.

But, if that doesn’t happen, they appear to be giving themselves options at the hot corner.