The Dodgers have agreed to terms with Brad Ausmus

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Ausmus Dodgers.jpgSo tweets Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times. He’ll earn a base salary of $850k and there’s a mutual option for 2011.

Ausmus actually had a decent year with the stick by his standards in 2009, although it was in exceedingly limited play (.295/.343/.368 in 107 plate appearances). Before that, you’re looking at basically a solid decade of awful production, a good year or two back in the late 90s, and then a lot more nothin’ before that.

But as I noted last month, Ausmus, despite his extreme limitations at the plate, always manages to find a job.  A lot of that has been because of his defense, but in more recent years I have no doubt that it’s because of his work ethic. He has giant binders
on hitters’ tendencies and studies them all the time, and by all accounts, he’s the one of the most prepared and focused players in the game and spends tons of time teaching and helping his teammates. In this way he’s a good clubhouse guy, not because of some vague chemistry consideration like so many others who get that label, because he’s really valuable to have in the clubhouse for legitimately tangible reasons.

So sure, he may be 41 and he may not hit my daughter’s weight, but there are probably worse guys to have occupy the 25th spot on the roster.

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.