OK, maybe the Mets aren't going to fire Howard Johnson

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When we all woke up this morning the buzz was that the Mets were poised to fire hitting coach Howard Johnson. Now Andy Martino of the Daily News hears from his sources that if they Mets were really going to can HoJo, they would have done it already.

I stand by my belief that firing a hitting coach over a team’s won-loss record is about as useful as a rain dance or rubbing a rabbit’s foot. Heck, maybe less useful, because at least rain dances and rubbing a rabbit’s foot are acts borne of some positive impulse that could at least give everyone involved some peace of mind.

Not that I’m alone in this. Indeed, I saw a number of people in the sporting press and the greater Mets Kingdom express similar sentiments today. Some even said that if Omar Minaya were to fire Johnson that he’d be doing so to distract from the more pressing need of firing Jerry Manuel or maybe even taking the fall himself.  Part of me wonders if he saw some of that himself today and changes his mind.

If so, you owe all of us bloggers a beer, Johnson.

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.