Don't be fooled: Lou Gehrig cared about the records

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Keeping with this morning’s historical theme, we turn to Derek Jeter’s imminent eclipsing of Lou Gehrig’s Yankees hit record (he was 0-4 yesterday).  A great record to be sure, currently held by a great man.  So great, in fact, that as is often the case, people seem to want to make him greater than maybe he really was.  Some interesting accuracy from a guy who literally wrote the book on Gehrig:

He was not universally beloved. Some reporters found him dull. Children
in the Bronx complained that he would sneak in and out of Yankee Stadium 
to avoid signing autographs. He almost never picked up a dinner tab or
tipped a delivery boy. Even some of his teammates thought he could have
been friendlier. (He invited only one Yankee, Bill Dickey, to his wedding) . . .

. . . Some of the writers suggested that Gehrig was such a stoic that he did
not care about records. Whenever Gehrig approached or set a record,
reporters pounding at their portable typewriters made it sound as if
the shy slugger was unaware or unconcerned with the feat. When Gehrig and Babe Ruth battled in 1927 for the single-season home
run record, the writers described it as a friendly contest. But Gehrig took those things seriously, especially when Ruth was involved.

The author of the piece isn’t slamming Gehrig. He’s just showing that he was human as opposed to the selflessly stoic and godlike figure he’s so frequently made out to be.

Which, in my mind, makes him more interesting and no less great.  I’ve always thought the same thing applied to Derek Jeter too.

(Thanks to YankeeFan Len for the link)

Phillies owner John Middleton is in Las Vegas with Bryce Harper

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Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that Phillies owner John Middleton flew to Las Vegas for a meeting with Bryce Harper on Friday. Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, it’s “more of a meet-and-greet than a sign-a-deal” affair, but as the club is still at the forefront of trade rumors involving the All-Star slugger, there remains a possibility (however slight) that something could be completed in the days to come.

Even now, the Phillies aren’t alone in the race to sign Harper, but recent rumors have helped whittle down the competition from five or more teams (Phillies, Nationals, White Sox, Giants, and Padres) to three strong contenders. The Giants are said to be interested in a lucrative short-term deal with the outfielder, while the Padres remain in the conversation despite inking Manny Machado to a mammoth 10-year, $300 million contract this week. It’s not yet clear just how far either team would go to outbid Philadelphia as talks with Harper intensify.

As for the Nationals and White Sox, the former officially bowed out earlier today, and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman adds that the latter won’t make a strong play for Harper as they feel the asking price and competing offers are “getting too high” for the 26-year-old’s services. If a mystery team is still in the mix, there’s been no word on their standing with Harper in the last month or so.