Ump misses the tag in the Rays-Twins game

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Another bad call in a year full of them. This one came in the 10th inning of the Rays-Twins game last night.

The scene: runners on first and second, Rays batting, no one out, game tied at 4. Willy Aybar singles to left and the go-ahead run scores. As the play continues, Kelly Shoppach, who
had been on first, tried to advance
to third.

Delmon Young throws it to Michael Cuddyer at third (query: you happy with Michael Cuddyer playing third, Twins fans? I wouldn’t be). Cuddyer catches it and applies the tag to Shoppach.  Watch the video: the overhead shot is fast, but the replay (and the screencap pic above) seems to show the tag, with Shoppach’s jersey even creasing a little and everything. Third base umpire Alfonso Marquez calls Shoppach safe, however, saying that Cuddy missed the tag.

It ended up not mattering — the run would have scored anyway and 5-4 ended up being the final score — but a missed call is a missed call, and we get a lot of those these days.

Mike Trout has a torn thumb ligament, could require surgery

G
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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.