Jeter says the umpire is lying: what will MLB do?

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Yesterday, after the umpire from Monday’s Yankees-Blue Jays game said
that he told Jeter he was tagged on that play on the first inning, I said this:

Interesting. But not nearly as interesting as it will be if someone
in the New York press gets Jeter on the record today about all of this.
Because he pretty much has to say the ump was lying, right? And when
you do that, you usually get fined or something, don’t you? More likely
scenario: Jeter gets away with some non-committal quote and everyone
drops it because he’s the Captain and no one ever seems to want the
Captain to look bad.

Guess I was wrong, because somebody — George King III of the New York Post — got Jeter on the record, and he’s anything but non-committal:

Jeter wasn’t buying Foster’s explanation to Hirschbeck prior to last
night’s 4-3 win over the Twins at the Metrodome. Asked if he heard
Foster say, “I had him tagging you,” Jeter was quick to answer.

“He didn’t say that,” Jeter told The Post in a firm voice. “He knows exactly what he said and he didn’t say that.”

So, we have a clear instance of a player saying that an ump is lying.
Which is worse than simply saying that an ump blew a call, which in the
past has gotten players and managers fined. No one seems to be rushing
to fine Jeter this morning, however, which suggests one of two things:
(1) that Jeter gets special treatment because he’s Jeter; or (2) that
Major League Baseball thinks Jeter has a point and isn’t buying the
ump’s story.

So which is it: does baseball not care if one of the game’s biggest
names calls an umpire a liar, or does baseball not care that its
umpires are freelancing out there and then lying about it to cover
their butts? Because it has to be one or the other, doesn’t it?

Mike Trout has a torn thumb ligament, could require surgery

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Yesterday Mike Trout left the Marlins-Angels game after hurting his thumb while sliding head first into second base. After the game the Angels talked about it as if it were just a sprain. Trout had an MRI today, however, and the diagnosis is far worse: he has a torn thumb ligament.

While a treatment option has not yet been chosen, surgery is a possibility. A certainty is that he’ll miss, at the very least, several weeks of play. He has been placed on the disabled list for the first time in his career.

Trout, the reigning AL MVP and, without question, the best player in baseball, is batting .337/.461/.742 with 16 home runs, 36 RBI, 36 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases in 206 plate appearances this season. Even with the one of the weaker supporting casts in baseball, Trout had the Angels near .500 and in at least arguable contention in the AL West.

Without him, they are likely sunk. Without him, baseball is worse off.

Basebrawl! Harper, Strickland punch away, Nats-Giants fight

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SAN FRANCISCO — Nationals slugger Bryce Harper and San Francisco reliever Hunter Strickland both landed punches to the head during a wild brawl that erupted Monday after a hit by pitch.

Harper was hit in the right hip by Strickland’s 98 mph fastball in the eighth inning with Washington ahead 2-0.

Harper pointed the bat toward Strickland, charged the mound and fired his batting helmet wide of the pitcher. They started to swing away and they each connected as the benches and bullpens emptied.

At least two Giants players forcefully dragged Strickland from the middle of the brawl all the way into the dugout. Harper and Strickland were both ejected.

In the 2014 NL Division Series, Harper hit two home runs off Strickland. After the star’s second shot, in Game 4, he stared at Strickland as he rounded the bases.