Mike Matheny is “increasingly and bizarrely petulant”

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Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post Dispatch is one of the best local sports columnists in the country and also doesn’t engage in the shouting and trolling and overall buffoonery of so many big names in the same industry, so when he criticizes Cardinals manager Mike Matheny like this it made me take notice:

The increasingly and bizarrely petulant manager Mike Matheny resorted to spitting out one-word answers and tapping impatiently on the interview podium in a childish response to reasonable postgame questions.

In fairness to Matheny he’d just watched a blowout loss to the rival Reds in which Adam Wainwright had one of the worst starts of his career. Of course, Miklasz noted in the same column that Wainwright had a much different response to reporters asking about the ugly game:

Wainwright — as usual — gave mature, thoughtful, forthright adult answers when asked about his condition.

Matheny doesn’t want to talk about the possibility of Wainwright’s heavy workload causing him to wear down, but when a pitcher has a league-high five complete games and struggles immediately following a 128-pitch start it’s certainly a reasonable topic of inquiry. On the other hand, at least Matheny didn’t lash out and angrily call any reporters names.

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.