Major League Baseball to Frank McCourt: Don’t blame us, pal!

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Frank McCourt’s talking point lately is that his financial problems — which threaten the Dodgers’ ability to meet May payroll — are Major League Baseball’s doing inasmuch as MLB won’t approve his TV deal with FOX.

That line is nonsensical enough on its face and divorced from widely-reported facts, so it’s understandable that no one had taken the effort to officially refute it. But since McCourt won’t shut up about it, Selig’s second-in-command Rob Manfred apparently decided enough was enough. Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times passes along his statement:

“Any financial problems faced by the Los Angeles Dodgers are the result of decisions made by Mr. McCourt and his management team over a period of years.”

Manfred went on to say “The pace of the commissioner’s investigation has been adversely affected by the Dodgers’ failure to produce documents in a timely manner and by the complexity of the financial structures surrounding the club. The commissioner intends to complete the investigation promptly but will not accept less than a thorough investigation.”

Put differently: Frank McCourt: Dead man walking.

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.