Bobby Valentine likely to become Brewers’ next manager

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People have been hinting at the idea all week, and now it seems close to becoming a reality.

According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, “all signs” are indicating that Bobby Valentine is going to become the next manager of the Brewers.

Valentine was interviewed for a variety of managing gigs this fall, and even appeared to be the front-runner for the Marlins’ job at one point, but talks fell through on all fronts and most believe that the stalled negotiations had to do with money.  Specifically, Bobby V’s demands — a $10 million contract extended over three years.

The Brewers draw well and have a dedicated fanbase, but spending $3 million on a skipper seems misguided.  That money would be better served in the back pocket of a reliable back-end starter.  Or, heck, a front-end starter.

But let’s focus on some of the positives here.  Valentine has a 1117-1072 career managerial record over 15 years with the Phillies and Mets and he’ll bring a higher media profile to the Brewers.  There’s a load of talent in place for him in Milwaukee, where the Cardinals, Cubs, Astros and Pirates have proven themselves plenty beatable.  We’ll see about those Redlegs.

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.