Yankees fans boo Manny Machado for some reason

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Manny Machado was widely speculated to want to sign with the Yankees once he hit free agency last fall. The fit seemed a good one, as Didi Gregorius‘ injury made at least a temporary opening at short and Miguel Andújar’s defensive struggles suggested that he may not stick long at third. Machado met with the Yankee but their interest did not materialize and Machado moved on, eventually signing with San Diego. It was pretty straightforward story of a team not being as interested in a player as the player seemed to be interested in the team.

The Yankees fans in attendance at yesterday’s Padres-Yankees game, however, gave Machado the sort of welcome that is usually reserved for a free agent who snubs a team despite the team’s strong desire to sign him. Boo City, U.S.A.:

 

I realize Machado is not particularly popular anywhere, and that he was a division rival of the Yankees for years, but I don’t recall him getting that sort of reception — let alone the “over-rated!” chants which followed — when he’d hit the Bronx with Baltimore.

I realize that on some level almost everyone is rooting for laundry, thus parsing why any given payer is loved or loathed takes you into some pretty subjective territory, but it’s hard to escape the conclusion that the Yankees fans at the game yesterday were blaming Machado for the Yankees’ lack of a desire to sign him. Which . . . is kinda weird, ain’t it?

 

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.