UPDATE: OK, so maybe Joey Votto wasn't being rude

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UPDATE: Upon a few hours of reflection I’m fairly certain I
totally whiffed
here. I haven’t seen video of Votto’s comments (I based my post on ESPN
Chicago’s linked story), but logic suggests that Votto’s tone here
probably
mattered a hell of a lot and it’s entirely possible, if not probable,
that Votto was goofing off a bit here. When I read it through the first
time I assumed that
Votto’s comments was a straight up “I really didn’t want to congratulate
Marlon Byrd” thing, and both re-reading the story and using basic
common sense, I don’t think it’s fair to assume that. I’m not saying I
totally endorse the “I don’t like the Cubs” preamble to his answer, but
that’s kind of minor if, indeed, Votto was being a little tongue in
cheek.

If I had to do the post over again — and since it’s the
Internet, you
can’t really erase what you did before — I probably would have just
made it a stand alone “quote of the day” and let you all try to
figure out what the hell Votto was getting at if anything rather than
make the assumption I made.

Not trying to use it as an excuse, but I write close to 100 posts a week
and, dammit, not all of them are going to be good. This is one of those
not-good ones. Apologies.

4:15 P.M: Dave at Big League Stew alerted me to this bit of lunacy from Joey Votto yesterday, when asked to comment on Marlon Byrd making a couple of key plays to help lead the NL to victory:

“I don’t like the Cubs.  And I’m not going to pat anybody
with a Cubs uniform on the back. But because he made that really cool
play, it turned out to be a really cool experience. I’m really glad we
got the win today.”

Thanks for the win, but no thanks to you, Byrd. I’m sure there are a ton of old timers who would say that they were never friendly with the opposition, but coming in this day and age, in reference to a guy who — at least in the context of yesterday — was Votto’s own teammate, this comes off as really damn juvenile.

This is especially true directed at Byrd who — based on what people have told me — is a really, really nice guy who would probably be high-fiving Votto if the situations were reversed.

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.