The Supreme Court loves its baseball

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There was a nice story in the New York Times yesterday detailing just how crazy U.S. Supreme Court justices have tended to be about baseball over the years.  Alito is a huge Phillies fan who, despite observing that the Phanatic, well, kind of smells, had him as a guest at a party once.  Sotomayor is a big Yankees fan. Nominee Elena Kagan is a Mets freak.  The person she would replace — Justice Stevens — was actually at the game in the 1932 World Series when Babe Ruth allegedly called his shot.

The best bit in the whole story, however, comes in an anecdote that makes me feel better about all the time I spent thinking about baseball while working back at the law firm:

Intense devotion to the national pastime at the Supreme Court is not a new phenomenon. In 1973, while the court heard arguments during the National League Championship Series, Justice Potter Stewart passed a note to Justice Harry A. Blackmun that exhibited a nice sense of proportion.

“V.P. Agnew just resigned!!” the note said, adding, “Mets 2 Reds 0.”

Phillies’ Bryce Harper to miss start of season after elbow surgery

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PHILADELPHIA – Phillies slugger Bryce Harper will miss the start of the 2023 season after he had reconstructive right elbow surgery.

The operation was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles.

Harper is expected to return to Philadelphia’s lineup as the designated hitter by the All-Star break. He could be back in right field by the end of the season, according to the team.

The 30-year-old Harper suffered a small ulnar collateral ligament tear in his elbow in April. He last played right field at Miami on April 16. He had a platelet-rich plasma injection in May and shifted to designated hitter.

Harper met Nov. 14 with ElAttrache, who determined the tear did not heal on its own, necessitating surgery.

Even with the elbow injury, Harper led the Phillies to their first World Series since 2009, where they lost in six games to Houston. He hit .349 with six homers and 13 RBIs in 17 postseason games.

In late June, Harper suffered a broken thumb when he was hit by a pitch and was sidelined for two months. The two-time NL MVP still hit .286 with 18 homers and 65 RBIs for the season.

Harper left Washington and signed a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies in 2019. A seven-time All-Star, Harper has 285 career home runs.

With Harper out, the Phillies could use Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber at designated hitter. J.T. Realmuto also could serve as the DH when he needs a break from his catching duties.