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?
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.