With a win, the American League can tie the all-time All-Star series

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When I was a kid, the National League won the All-Star Game every year. In the past couple of decades, it’s been dominated by the American League. A tad more dominance by the AL, however, can bring things into a state of equilibrium.

Going into tonight’s contest, the NL leads the series 43-42, with two ties. One tie you remember: 2002 and the famous Bud Selig shrug. The other occurred on July 31, 1961 at Fenway Park in Boston when the game was called at 1–1 after nine innings due to rain.

Streaks have been common. The American League won the first three All-Star Games. The NL won eight straight times, from 1963 through 1970. It won 11 in a row from 1972 through 1982. The American League is 16-3-1 in the last 20 Midsummer Classics.

If the Junior Circuit wins again tonight it’ll be 43-43-2. After which we will cancel the All-Star Game forever, give everyone participation trophies and call it a day.

Or not. No one ever asks me.

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.