So much arguing about awards and trades and things today. Let’s go back to some baseball. Specifically, Game 1 of the NLCS when Matt Holliday took out Marco Scutaro at second base with a sketchy-at-best slide.
Holliday admitted at the time he made a bad slide and denied any attempt to hurt Scutaro. In Game 7, however, Matt Cain plunked him. Tim McKernan of InsideStl.com interviewed Holliday about it, and Holliday took issue with the timing of it:
The Cat: If he would’ve plunked you right after would you have taken it as part of the game and part of the medicine that you had to take? Would you say, that that would’ve gone down easier?
Matt: If you’re going to do it, I think that is when you do it. I wouldn’t be happy about it anytime. I just thought that in the situation that it actually did happen it was less than tough.
Is Jim Leyland the last guy in baseball who still uses the tried-and-true “horses–t” when talking about violations of the unwritten rules? I’ve always loved “horses–t.” It’s perfect. “Less than tough?” Just not feeling it.
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.