Recently we mentioned the Twitter adventures of Jay Horwitz, the Mets’ director of media relations. Today Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal notes something for which he is far more infamous: butt dialing.
The 67 year-old Horwitz has a Blackberry which he refuses to lock for some reason and, as a result, he accidentally calls players, team officials, everyone, all the time and at all hours. He called Ike Davis during a game once. He called Livan Hernandez in a clubhouse 2,000 miles away. It’s a funny story, mostly for the players explaining their confusion at these calls they get from Horwitz.
The Mets have spent years trying to put a friendly, approachable and human face on the franchise. Here’s an idea: any instance in which a Wilpon is scheduled to make an appearance or an announcement of any kind, let Horwitz do it. He sounds like so much fun. It’d be like your friend’s awesome dad is running the Mets. And who wouldn’t like that?
The Padres may have some interest in acquiring Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco, according to a recent report from Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. It seems unlikely that the team would deal their starting third baseman with J.P. Crawford (fractured left hand) sidelined through July; to that end, however, they signed infielder Danny Espinosa as minor league depth on Friday and have reportedly been eying the Rangers’ Adrian Beltre, among other veteran options.
Franco, 25, entered Sunday batting .255/.297/.425 with nine home runs and a .721 OPS in 229 plate appearances this season. While he has yet to live up to the .280+ average, 1.9+ fWAR he posted during his rookie campaign, he’s been a solid 20+ home run producer over the last few years and shown some stability at the hot corner. He’s also under team control for the next three years and could provide some much-needed insurance behind the Padres’ current third base option, 27-year-old Christian Villanueva.
Rosenthal notes that the Phillies could strike a deal for one of San Diego’s relievers, though no one specific has been connected to the team yet — and the club probably wouldn’t be able to finesse a one-for-one deal given the quality of the Padres’ pitchers. The Phillies’ bullpen has looked downright abysmal over the last month, placing 11th-worst in the league with a collective 5.34 ERA and 0.3 fWAR. Their failure to procure a viable reliever beyond Seranthony Dominguez, Victor Arano and Edubray Ramos lends a certain urgency to any potential deal they make over the next few weeks, though the official trade deadline is still over a month away.