Steve Geltz on some cities’ tobacco bans: “It seems a little dictatorship-ish.”

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We’ve talked about the bans on tobacco products in various cities — New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles among them — and some players’ reactions to it.

The Rays kick off a three-game series in Boston followed by a three-game set in New York, meaning the Rays’ players will have to deal with life on the field without chewing tobacco. That will prove to be a challenge for some players, like Dana Eveland and Matt Moore, per Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Reliever Steve Geltz has a philosophical disagreement with the ban. “It seems a little dictatorship-ish. And that’s not the world we live in,” he said.

It’s exaggeration to the umpteenth degree, because we have regulations on behavior and choice in many facets of life, some meaningful and others not so meaningful. All healthy democracies do this. Geltz, in fact, may be confusing democracy with anarchy.

Eveland, however, is working on a substitute for tobacco. “If I can replace that with gum and seeds and biting my fingernails a little bit more, maybe I’ll survive,” the lefty said.

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.