The guys on the Hall of Fame ballot who have no shot but are worth talking about anyway

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Day two of Joe Posnanski’s week-long look at the Hall of Fame consists of his review of the 11 players on this year’s ballot who are clearly not Hall of Famers, but who, according to Joe, are worth spending a few minutes remembering.  The Carlos Baergas and Brett Boones of the world, don’t you know.

I’m glad that Posnanski goes through them in detail because these are the guys who we’ll find more interesting and mysterious several years from now. Everyone knows Roberto Almoar’s career backwards and forwards at this point. People will soon forget that, say, Carlos Baerga got 200 hits in a season twice. Or that Marquis Grissom, while not necessarily better than you remember, was a really unique  player.  Heck, most people have probably already forgotten. A lot of those guys are described by Joe with phrases like “and suddenly, one day, he stopped being really good.”  Yeah, it was the time for that.

It’s a good read. It helps us to remember that, while eras are defined by the superstars, most of the working and paying, living and dying, pitching and hitting in Major League Baseball is done by regular guys.  Thanks to Joe for bearing witness to some of them here.

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.