UPDATE: the guy who said he bet his life savings on the Cubs faked the ticket

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UPDATE: Dang it, it’s a fake. Turns out it’s an altered ticket, per ESPN’s gambling expert. Stand down. But continue to read Hunter S. Thompson quotes. He had his moments.

3:57PM: Hunter S. Thompson once said that it’s important to know that losing comes with the territory when it comes to the business of gambling. He even compared it to playing linebacker in the NFL, saying “just as getting crippled for life is an acceptable risk in the linebacker business,” so too is losing when one gambles. “They both are extremely violent sports, and pain is part of the bargain. Buy the ticket, take the ride.”

A Chicago man named Don Majewski bought the ticket and will be taking the ride for the next five and a half months or so. And he paid big for the ticket. $200,000 to be precise, which is most of his life savings. And he plunked it all down on the Chicago Cubs. From NetOneSports:

“I know it seems crazy, but what am I risking, really?” asks the 54-year-old Majewski. “I could save for six more years, and maybe I’d have, what, a quarter million to live on for the rest of my life? And that’s if the market doesn’t tank again.”

He’s a sanitation worker-turned-carpenter. And he’s married. He says his wife approved of the bet, as long as he slept on it. Which he did. But then he put $200K on a baseball team. In May.

I’m pretty risk averse. I don’t gamble much and don’t enjoy the ride terribly much even when I do buy the ticket. But I don’t think you have to be risk averse to give Mr. Majewski the side eye on this one. You just have to know how baseball works and remember just how often the best looking team in May tanks it down the stretch. And just how often the team that wins it all was nowhere close to being the best looking team in May.

Good luck, good sir. But hoo boy.

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.