This from my neck of the woods. Really, like a few miles from the fortified compound. It happened on April 5, but news travels slowly here in the heartland. We’re busy with our milk seeds to be plant and wheat to be, um, churned. Or whatever the heck you people in the cities think we do here in Ohio all the time:
Jeff Boyer has been a baseball coach at Licking Heights High School in Pataskala, Ohio, for 34 years, and he’s never seen anything like it.
Boyer’s Hornets beat Harvest Prep 65-0 on April 5 in a game called in the third inning. Licking Heights scored 16 runs in the first, 18 in the second and 31 in the third.
And it wasn’t called by the mercy rule. That doesn’t kick in until the 5th. It was called due to darkness.
Licking Heights is in an area which has grown pretty substantially over the years and, as a bit of historical hangover, is in the same division as a lot of much smaller high schools’ sports teams. Licking Heights has over 900 students, from an increasingly suburbanized area. Harvest Prep, in contrast, is a K-12 Christian school.
Heights is moving up a division next year I believe. In the meantime you get things like we had here last week. Which is the way they want it. Well, they get 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.