Chipper won't talk retirement plans until the offseason

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In unsurprising fashion Thursday, Braves veteran Chipper Jones told a group of Atlanta-based reporters, including MLB.com’s Mark Bowman, that he is hoping to postpone retirement talks until after the 2010 season.

Chipper spoke many times last year about possibly cutting his career short and again sparked the discussion
earlier this week.  Through 175 at-bats this season, he is batting a
not-so-hot .234 with a .366 slugging percentage and only four home
runs.  The 38-year-old third baseman is a .306/.406/.537 career hitter
over 16-plus professional seasons.

The topic of retirement is sure to come up after every 0-for-3 or 0-for-4 night that Jones experiences for the rest of the year, and you can bet that there will be many of those.  This is baseball, after all, where being successful in a third of your at-bats means greatness.  For now, though, Jones wants to focus on getting his club back to the playoffs.

The Braves currently sit atop the NL East standings by a half-game with a record of 38-28.  The Mets are 37-28, the Phillies are 33-30 (3.5 games back) and the Marlins are 31-34 (6.5 games back).

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.