New York City Council member wants Mets, Yankees to extend protective netting

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Zach Schonbrun of The New York Times reports that New York City Council member Rafael Espinal is preparing to propose legislation that would require the Mets and Yankees to extend protective netting to 90 feet from home plate at Citi Field and Yankee Stadium, respectively.

Major League Baseball issued a recommendation to teams last year that netting be extended to 70 feet from home plate and most teams complied. According to Schonbrun, one-third of teams have extended netting beyond 70 feet, including the Pirates and Phillies. The Phillies’ situation was well-publicized last year as a fan was struck by a Freddy Galvis foul ball in August. After the game, Galvis said, “It’s 2016 and fans keep getting hit by foul balls when you’re supposed to have a net to protect the fans. The fans give you the money, so you should protect them, right?” The next day, another fan was hit by a foul ball in nearly the same spot and Galvis threw his hands up in disgust.

The players seem to be very much in favor of extending protective netting.

Espinal shares the players’ point of view. He said, “I’m baffled by why this is such a big issue. You have the money to put up the netting. You would avoid the headaches of having to deal with injured fans. Your players would feel less guilty when they go up to bat. Everyone can enjoy the game in peace.”

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.