Athletics will offer free admission on April 17

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Just saw this via the Los Angeles Times. Seems that the Oakland Athletics will offer free admission for their April 17 game against the White Sox. And it’s not just tickets that are free. Parking is free too. All you gotta pony up for is the beer and the nachos.

The promotion is in honor of the A’s 50th anniversary in Oakland. They played their first game there, following a move from Kansas City, on April 17, 1968. They A’s improved by 20 wins that year and, within a couple of seasons, went on a run of five straight playoff appearances, in the middle of which were three straight World Series championships.

Which is to say that the move to Oakland, on balance, was good for the franchise. Even if the stadium and payroll and, you know, winning situation has been rough in recent years.

Maybe the A’s can’t give you a playoff team this year, but they can give you a free game.

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.