Good luck with that trade, Mr. Francoeur

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I call him “Mr. Fancoeur” because it just sounded so fun in that Wall Street Journal article I linked to this morning. I know that WSJ and the New York Times use “Mr.” and “Ms.” as a convention, but the convention really doesn’t work in sports articles. Did they do this when pro wrestling was pushing mainstream in the mid 80s? “Mr. Beefcake?” Would it have been “Mr. Albano” or would they have gone with the more formal title for “Captain” Lou? I digress.

The point to this post is to link to Howard Megdal’s analysis of Jeff Francoeur’s chances of being traded, as he has so demanded.  Howard’s piece provides a wonderful walk down bad-to-mediocre corner outfielder memory lane, and concludes by noting that, if history is any guide, ain’t no one gonna trade nothing for no Jeff Francoeur.

But let’s be clear about something: I don’t fault Jeff Francoeur for asking to be traded. On some level all athletes should feel like they’re awesome and should be playing all the time. The second they stop feeling that way, at least a little bit, is the second they lose their competitive edge.  Good for Mr. Francoeur for not losing confidence in himself.

No, my issue is this whole media campaign and his agents demands of the Mets that her client be given playing time. That’s just loopy. Keep that stuff quiet.   

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.