Baseball dodges a bullet

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According to the experts, while it’s supposed to rain today, it’s going to taper off by game time tonight, so there’s no real threat of a cancellation.  It’ll actually be pretty darn nice in New York tomorrow, and it’s looking practically gorgeous for the Philadelphia portion of the Fall Classic.  So it would appear that, despite all of our anxiety, there will be no real weather worries this year.

But what if a few balls bounced a few different ways in the past couple of weeks?  What if, say, the Rockies had run the postseason gauntlet and the NL had prevailed in the All-Star Game?  If so, this is what we’d be talking about on the day of Game 1:

Winter storm warnings are in effect throughout much of Colorado today. The National Weather Service says the Denver area could get between 10 and 18 inches of snow before the storm moves out tomorrow . . . Strong winds are forecast to develop tonight and tomorrow, which could cause blizzard conditions on the Eastern Plains.

There’s not a ton of sense in dwelling on what doesn’t happen in life, but with the World Series getting pushed later and later, one of these years it’s gonna happen.

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.