Video: Tony Gwynn using VCRs to scout pitchers on “This Week in Baseball” in 1989

11 Comments

Video analysis is not a big deal now. Lots and lots of players use video to work on their mechanics and scout the opposition. Teams have dedicated video staff that supplies the footage to players. They can watch it on their iPads and laptops.

But back in the 80s it wasn’t nearly as common. And one of the pioneers of intensive video analysis was Tony Gwynn. He started by having his wife record Padres games on their VCR — remember those, kids? — and would watch it later. That evolved into a big portable — barely — monitor system he’d take with him on road trips.

Most people became aware of this when it was featured on “This Week in Baseball” in 1989. Here’s that segment. How about that?

Phillies owner John Middleton is in Las Vegas with Bryce Harper

Bryce Harper
Getty Images
Leave a comment

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.