Sandoval is getting into playing shape

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Sandoval swing.jpgSpeaking of weight, Pablo Sandoval is back in the U.S. following a tour of the Venezuelan league that reportedly had him falling off the healthy food wagon:

[Giants head trainer Dave] Groeschner feared a big weight gain in Venezuela when Sandoval was
left to fend at the dinner table without the nutritional prepackaged
meals he was given at Camp Panda. Sandoval said he was good – mostly.

“I was still eating the same portions,” he said, “except Sunday. I went away from the diet.”

And what South American delicacies did he consume when he went off the plan?

“Hamburgers and hot dogs from stands in the street,” he said.

Ah, the Anthony Bourdain diet.  I bet it was tasty.

In other Panda news, here’s Sandoval’s interaction with the emcee at a charity dinner last night:

Emcee: What position do you like most?
Sandoval: Hit.
Emcee:  Which glove do you like best?
Sandoval: Bat.

Evidence that there is no God: This guy and Adam Dunn are forced to wear gloves in the National League while Ozzie Guillen plans on using Omar Vizquel as a DH in Chicago.

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.