Players concerned about MLB’s deals with gambling companies

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LOS ANGELES — The head of the baseball players’ association is worried about the sport’s increased commercial deals with sports gambling companies.

A BetMGM Retail Sportsbook opened this year at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., and DraftKings is building a sports book scheduled to open next year at the southeast corner of Wrigley Field.

Union executive director Tony Clark was asked before the All-Star Game whether he was getting concerned with the gambling relationships, which have increased since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2018 to overturn the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, which outlawed sports betting.

“Getting? No. Is? Yeah. Has been? Sure,” Clark told the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. “We’re entering a very delicate and, dare I say, dangerous world here. We hope that it is truly beneficial for our game moving forward and that everyone who is involved benefits from it in one fashion or another. But when you have players suggest that no sooner was PASPA repealed, that they started to have book houses following them on social media, that gets you a little twitchy pretty quick.

“And so we’ll continue to pound the pavement in each of the state legislatures that are continuing to push, that have language in place and those that don’t yet that are potentially coming online, to ensure that as much as anything, our players are protected, and their families by extension, are protected as a result of the language that’s on the books despite the fact that this train has left the station.”

 

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.