The Pirates make their move!

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Wil Ledezma (a) once missed time during the season because he ran his passport and Visa through the washing machine; (b) was non-tendered after the 2008 season; (c) wasn’t signed for 2009 until late December, and even then it was by the worst team in baseball; and (d) put up a 9.53 ERA in five games for the worst team in baseball and was DFA’d by them before the end of April.

So of course the Pirates signed him.

Is this the end of the world for Pittsburgh? Of course not. It’s just a minor league deal for some random cannon fodder. But it is a minor league deal with a guy who appears to be all but worthless, at a time of the offseason when the team should be thinking about big picture issues instead of the final pieces of roster flotsam. Winning teams don’t makes these kinds of deals now, do they? Not that anyone would ever mistake Pittsburgh for a winning team.

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.