The Cubs want Cameron

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The Cubs had miserable centerfield defense last year. Lou Piniella loves Mike Cameron. Mike Cameron loves Lou Piniella. Gordon Wittenmeyer of the Sun-Times says that these two love birds are about to stop pretending and get on with it already:

Center fielder Mike Cameron could take center stage for the Cubs by
the time the winter meetings begin Monday in Indianapolis, depending on
how quickly they can slam the door on Milton Bradley’s tail and how
much room is left in the payroll.

What’s clear is the Cubs’ interest and the strength of manager Lou
Piniella’s relationship with Cameron, who spent the past two seasons
with Milwaukee.

Cameron makes just about any team he plays for better, and the Cubs certainly have a need. Makes all kinds of sense.  The only hitch is that, according to Wittenmeyer, Chicago wants to move Milton Bradley first. There are a couple of teams waiting for the Cubs to get desperate on that front and throw in some more money.  I would guess that if it means signing a guy they like and finally cutting bait with Bradley, they’ll just bite the bullet, pay up and be done with 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.