Guess which Yankees infielder is the new GQ cover boy

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I knew it! The guy is on his best behavior for a while, making us think that he’s all about dedicating himself to baseball in an effort to justify that out-sized contract, but really it’s all about the spotlight for him. Him and his actress girlfriend and the cover of fashion magazines, with the subheadline “the swinging years.”

Just so typical. I mean, that Alex Rodriguez is so full of — wait, what?  You mean it’s not A-Rod on the cover of GQ? It’s Jeter? And he’s talking about how he’s gone out of the way to keep his private life private as opposed to getting is splashed all over the tabloids? Oh, well. This is embarrassing …

“Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I didn’t go out and have fun. But there’s been a lot of players that come to New York and get caught up in the lifestyle, and before you know it, they’re sent away to another team because it affected their performance. My number one priority was on the field. I’ve had fun. It’s not like I’ve never gone out; I’ve done a lot of things. But I’ve always kept sight of my number one priority.”

Sigh. Even in a big glossy magazine feature he comes off as a boy scout. And that’s pretty hard to do.  I’m convinced at this point that if you put subconscious-reading electrodes directly on his cerebrum and fed him a steady diet of seared scallops in a truth serum-infused reduction for months on end and you’d still get nothing better than “I just try to be prepared out there,” references to “Mr. Steinbrenner” and rebop about how playing for the Yankees is a great honor.  Really, his professionalism and polish are practically sickening at this point. At least for those of us who require a steady dose of human frailty to make us feel better about the fact that we more or less topped out during our junior year of high school.

But I hold out hope. I’ve always maintained that if we ever get a really juicy Derek Jeter story, it won’t come via a Derek Jeter interview. It will come via interviews with Derek Jeter’s doormen, personal assistants, maids, butlers, valets, neighbors, and pharmacists over the past 15 years.  And if anyone has the email address of any of those people, by all means, please submit it to be via the “Send Tip/Feedback” button in the upper right-hand corner of this page.

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.