Quick hits: A-Rod is a centaur and other items of note

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– Poor Alex Rodriguez. The usual (and unusual) suspects are already piling on after his punchless start
to the World Series. From the unusual department, on Friday we learned
that
he supposedly has two paintings depicting himself as a centaur above his bed.



– Orioles international scouting
director John Stockstill met with Cuban left-hander Aroldis Chapman in New York on Friday,
joining a host of teams who have acknowledged interest in the 21-year-old fireballer. Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun, who saw the Orioles balk on Dominican shortstop Miguel Angel Sano, has a hard time believing that the Orioles will “pony up.



– On the heels of Matthew Pouliot’s analysis of Andy Pettitte’s Hall of Fame chances on Friday, Tommy Bennett of Beyond the Boxscore concludes that the veteran left-hander is “slightly above average.”



– Bill Baer of Crashburn Alley previews Saturday’s pitching matchup
between Pettitte and Cole Hamels, reminding us that “Hamels has been
much better than his statistics have shown and Pettitte has been
slightly better.”




– And finally, don’t forget to play “What Yankee Megastar Are You?”

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.