As if there weren't enough reasons to stay away from the Reds-Pirates game

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A late Septemeber day game between two of the worst teams in baseball is usually all it takes to send attendance to record lows, but world leaders have literally united to make attending today’s Reds-Pirates game even less appealing:

Those arriving at PNC Park for this afternoon’s Pirates game against the Cincinnati Reds will face increased security, the team’s president said.

The team heightened security all week in light of the Group of 20 economic summit across the Allegheny River at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. But measures at the North Shore stadium will be particularly high today and tomorrow, President Frank Coonelly said.

The Pirates added extra security inside and outside the ballpark, and fans will be scanned with metal-detecting wands at the gates.

Given what has happened at previous world economic summits, the extra security is probably smart. Bonus effect: any Pirates season ticket holders who had planned on attempting suicide during the game — which would be completely understandable, I might add — will now have to put it off until next week.   

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.