How air travel opened up the continent for Major League Baseball

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A great post from Jack Moore, looking at a couple of older publications — and adding his own insight — into how easier air travel opened up the country for Major League Baseball.

The best takeaway? How anger at the Dodgers and Giants for leaving New York in 1958 is misguided. Loyalty never had anything to do with it. They just did first what other teams, had they acted more quickly and decisively, certainly would have done:

Baseball has always been in the business of making money. Owners and teams were not comfortable to remain in any one city out of the goodness of their hearts. They were never beholden to the fans. The logistics simply weren’t there. And once the logistics were in place, following the post-war airplane boom, it was the bottom line and nothing else that demanded expansion.

Also a great anecdote in there about an early flight involving the Yankees which was nothing short of harrowing. It’s enough to put you in mind of George Costanza’s comments to Keith Hernandez.

White Sox won’t make bid for Bryce Harper

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The White Sox won’t make a bid for free agent outfielder Bryce Harper, Bruce Levine of 670 The Score reports. Believed to be the favorites to land shortstop Manny Machado in free agency, the White Sox watched him ink a 10-year, $300 million contract with the Padres. The club is apparently content with its roster otherwise.

Harper would certainly be an upgrade in the outfield, which currently features Adam Engel, Nicky Delmonico, and Jon Jay. It will soon feature prospects Eloy Jiménez and Luis Robert.

Last season, Harper hit .249/.393/.496 with 34 hom eruns, 100 RBI, 103 runs scored, and 13 stolen bases in 695 plate appearances. He led all of baseball, drawing 130 walks. Harper is also a six-time All-Star who won the 2012 NL Rookie of the Year Award and the 2015 NL Most Valuable Player Award.

The Phillies are still believed to be the favorites to sign Harper and the club is confident it will land him, Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Daily News reports.