Rays on the ropes, Joe Maddon ejected after Michael Young homer follows questionable call

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Joe Maddon had Game 2 starter James Shields on a very short leash this afternoon, pulling him from a 2-0 game with two outs in the fifth inning and two runners on base.
Chad Qualls replaced Shields and appeared to wriggle out of the jam by getting a checked-swing strikeout on Michael Young, but first base umpire Jerry Meals ruled that he didn’t go around … and Young delivered a three-run homer to straightaway center field on the next pitch to make it 5-0.
Maddon headed out to the mound to chat with Qualls, waited for home plate umpire Jim Wolf to come break up the meeting, and then got himself tossed in a cacophony of expletives. And then the fans at Tropicana Field started chanting “Replay! Replay! Replay!” before Vladimir Guerrero delivered an RBI single that extended the Rangers’ lead to 6-0.
(Thanks to Jeff Sullivan for the checked-swing screen capture.)

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.