Marcus Stroman calls Dennis Eckersley ‘clown’ and ‘hypocrite’

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Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman was fired up yesterday, after striking out Red Sox third baseman Eduardo Núñez to end the sixth inning.  It was the last batter he’d face in the game, he probably new it, after strike three was called he yelled loudly and then, for lack of a better term, kinda pranced to the dugout and gave a little applause to, I think anyway, himself.

Just watch. Maybe you can come up with better words for it:

NESN color commentator and Hall of Fame pitcher Dennis Eckersley didn’t much care for that, calling the celebration “tired.” Which is absolutely hilarious coming from Eckersley, who was one of the most animated on-mound celebrators of his day. He would pump his first and yell and carry on after big outs all the time. As Rob Friedman points out, it even got mentioned in the documentary about him:

After yesterday’s game Stroman heard about Eckersley’s comment and registered his displeasure, calling Eckersley’s commentary, in general, “trash,” and specifically calling him a “hypocrite” and a “clown.”

This is not the first time that a pitcher has taken issue with Eck’s commentary. Two years ago David Price got into it with Eckersley on the Red Sox’ team plane after Eck was critical of one of his Red Sox teammates. In that instance Eckersley’s comments weren’t personal or anything and Price’s response was rather obnoxious. Here, while Stroman didn’t have to stoop to name calling, he did have a good point. It’s eye-rolling whenever an announcer complains about a player’s celebrations, but it’s downright rich that Eckersley, of all people, is taking issue with a fired up pitcher showing that kind of emotion on the field.

The Jays and Red Sox face off again next week. Stroman is scheduled to start on July 3. It’ll be interesting to see if Eck has anything to say about it all.

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.