Hey, don’t yell at me. It’s your manager saying so at yesterday’s Red Sox Town Hall:
The topic often meandered back to the excitement level, and each panel member discussed what it was like to perform their duties in a baseball-mad town like Boston. Francona may have summed it up best when he talked about his early years and getting to know just how passionate the fans are: “I was a little naïve. … I had no idea. Now that I do live here, I understand how important it is to these lunatics. If you care about baseball, there’s no other place to be.”
As someone who often tut-tuts overzealous fandom, I should acknowledge that, if I had to choose, I’d much rather that my team was followed by lunatics who occasionally get a bit too crazy as opposed to people who are generally apathetic unless the team is actually in the damn World Series and have to be told specifically to cheer and get excited. Which describes Braves fans for the most part, as well as the fan bases for a lot of teams.
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.
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.