ESPN people say working for ESPN helped prepare Alex Cora to manage

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Alex Cora’s formal introduction as the Red Sox manager has been delayed until today due to the fact that, you know, his Houston Astros won the World Series, had a parade and have been in recovery mode since last week. Now it’s all Red Sox for Cora. Until he himself starts talking about the new job later today, we’ll content ourselves to reading about what other people say about him and his new gig.

An interesting example of that can be found in the Boston Globe. There Pete Abraham has a story about how Cora’s time as an ESPN analyst helped prepare him for the Red Sox job. All of the quotes in the story are from ESPN people talking about how Cora approached his job as an analyst. There’s a reference to Buck Showalter and Terry Francona spending time at ESPN in between managing posts, but they aren’t quoted. I’d be curious to hear if they thought that kind of work helped them. I can imagine them either scoffing at the idea or saying, yeah, it made you look at the game a different way. No idea. I can’t say that it’s a topic I’ve thought about much before. In the absence of any actual baseball news today, it’s interesting to consider.

Anyway, even if the ESPN folks are overselling how important Cora’s work at ESPN was in his preparation as a manager, I can’t imagine that it would hurt for a guy coming to Boston to have as much media experience as possible. It’s probably a bigger part of the job there than it is in any other baseball town.

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.