Tigers game postponed for third time in week

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The Detroit Tigers were scheduled to play the Kansas City Royals at Comerica Park today. It’s not gonna happen, though, as it’s cold, snowy and there are high winds, making the ballpark unfit for man or beast. They’ll make up the game at another time.

This is the third postponement of a Tigers game so far this year. There have likewise been multiple postponements in New York and in Cincinnati. Just a lot of bad weather in a year when the schedule got going several days earlier than usual due to changes in the CBA requiring more off-days and MLB’s desire to finish the World Series in October as opposed to having it bleed into November.

All of these postponements will cause many to argue against either the early-starting schedule, games in northern/non-domed cities or both. I totally get that, but I don’t think there’s any perfect solution to any of this.

We’ve had snow-outs on later dates than today in years past. There are no guarantees in northern cities until at least late April. Here in Ohio we have some years in which it hits 60 degrees for days on end in March only to give way to 38 degrees and sideways rain on tax day.

That aside, not scheduling games in places like Detroit or New York is an impossibility. All teams want an Opening Day as early as possible because it’s a big gate and serves as the marketing and P.R. focal point of the season. At the same time, the southern, domed and west coast cities don’t want the non-Opening Day portion of their seasons to be unduly weighted for March and April when kids are still in school. Players don’t want to be on the road too long to start the season either. Everyone wants balance in their schedule for a host of reasons, and that means at least some games are going to be played in dangerous cities, weather-wise, in the early going. Most years we get lucky. Some years we don’t.

I think the only real change that we can and should make is to avoid interleague games in danger zone cities early. Series like that Pirates-Tigers matchup we had last week which led to a sparsely-attended doubleheader following a cancellation. It’s easy for the Royals and Tigers to reschedule today’s washout later. They play 19 times, for Pete’s sake. The Pirates had no plans to go to Detroit again after the first series, limiting the options.

Anyway: we’ll get all of the games in, folks. I promise. We always do.

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.