In case you were missing Joe Morgan …

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Joe Morgan was interviewed on KJR in Seattle yesterday. When asked about what made the Big Red Machine special, he gave us a taste of exactly what we’ll be missing this summer when he is no longer on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball:

We did things, we gave up our own individuality to make the team better. You know I could have stolen a few more bases at times. I think Bench [Johnny] could of hit a few more home-runs, but there was a time for a single to right stuff like that and he did it. So I think we all gave up a little bit of ourselves to make the team better and I think that’s what made it such a great team because we all knew what we were supposed to do.

And really, sometimes you just don’t want your home run hitting catcher to hit home runs. They kill rallies, you know.  Better to have him single Rose in from second and then hit and run with Bench on first and Ken Griffey up to bat …

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.