Vin Scully: “That is blinkin’ fertilizer”

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Vin Scully was on the case last night when Jim Tracy came out to argue the catch/trap play on Shane Victorino’s drive to center. Go to around the two minute mark of this video to see his valuable translation services of Tracy’s tirade:

“He caught the blinkin’ ball … he caught the darn ball … THAT IS BLINKIN’ FERTILIZER … you gotta be blinkin’ me … blinkin’ unbelievable.”

The best part, though, is Scully noting that this whole sequence took way, way longer than any sort of replay procedures would have, thereby undermining the only argument against replay that Joe Torre and Bud Selig ever manage to muster.

Which, even though the umps got this call right, is another argument in favor of replay: it eliminates extended manager arguments. At least if you make a “no arguing replay calls” rule and enforce it with fines and auto-ejections.

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.