“Derek Jeter saved my family”

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No, this is not a humor post and no I am not mocking someone for having an overblown Jeter take. That is actually the headline to a wonderful and touching story from Elizabeth Taddonio at The Hairpin about how Derek Jeter and the mid-90s Yankees meant so much to her family which, at the time, was falling apart:

The years of 1995 and 1996 were some of the worst times of my life. My mother was erratic and verbally abusive. She was hiding liquor from my dad. At one of her lowest points she hid a bottle of SKOL vodka in my Barbie bin, on the top shelf of my closet. When I went to get it down the bottle hit me in the head and I saw stars. I didn’t tell her; I hid it and gave it to my dad when he got home. I was 10 years old.

But the seasons changed again, and in spring of 1996 this beautiful 22-year-old kid was finally playing for the Yankees. I remember that season: how I felt about the Braves. I remember how excited we were during playoffs and how we ordered pizza and I stayed up way too late and we were just so happy in my house.

Baseball isn’t as important as real life. Not by damn sight. But it can be a shelter from the storm of the real world and the good memories one associates with it can go a long way toward alleviating some of the pain that real life dealt you at the same time.

[ RELATED: Derek Jeter’s career, in photos ]

The biggest thing to realize about Derek Jeter — or any other meaningful ballplayer — leaving the stage is that it matters not one bit what the reporters and commentators say about it. Whether the backlash or the backlash to the backlash is more salient at any given moment. What matters is what he meant to the fans who rooted for him and enjoyed his career. What the baseball games he played meant to them.

(h/t Allison)

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.