If Bryce Harper's cover photo for ESPN The Magazine's Body Issue made you blush, then these next few pictures will make your heart rate spike and have you asking, "Does anyone else think it got a little hot in here?"
The Body Issue was made available online on Monday, and with it came more images of the NL's leading All-Star vote-getter doing a lot of the things he does every day -- except in these snapshots, he's doing them with no clothes on.
Here's Bryce, appearing in the Magazine's "Bodies We Want" gallery, performing what looks to be a pretty serious set of standing dumbbell rows:
Washington's right fielder then took to the batter's box, where he was photographed in his trademark lefty stance getting ready to swing and then following through. And we thought staring down Harper at the plate couldn't get any more intimidating.
On the year, Harper is hitting .347 with 25 home runs, 60 RBI and, so far, four very steamy pictures.
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Sure, the Nationals and Orioles didn't make the playoffs, but that didn't stop a "Battle of the Beltways" moment from breaking out during NLCS Game 1.
Ex-National Gio Gonzalez started the game for the Brewers. In the second inning, ex-Oriole Manny Machado stepped to the plate for the Dodgers.
Here's what happened next:
If you squint, you can imagine the ball flying into the Nationals Park bullpen or the Camden Yards bleachers.
And in case you're wondering, we have indeed entered the Twilight Zone.
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The Washington Nationals picked up righty reliever Kyle Barraclough from Miami in their first offseason move to rebuild the bullpen.
The Nationals said Wednesday that they gave the Marlins international slot value in the deal.
The hard-throwing Barraclough went 1-6 with 4.20 ERA and 10 saves in 17 chances, with 61 appearances this year. He allowed one hit in 36 at-bats in June, when he was chosen NL reliever of the month, but struggled with his command the rest of the season.
Barraclough's ERA ballooned to 10.24 over his final 24 games and he lost the Marlins closer's job.
He has a career ERA of 3.21 with 279 strikeouts and 134 walks in 218 2/3 innings over four seasons, all with Miami.
Washington general manager Mike Rizzo is in need of relievers after jettisoning Shawn Kelley and Brandon Kintzler late this season.
The deal helps the Marlins in their pursuit of top international free-agent Victor Victor Mesa, a Cuban outfielder who tried out for major league scouts at Marlins Park last week.
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