Birtherism and baseball: a classic combination

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As you may have seen, today President Obama released his long form birth certificate in an effort to shut up the loony fringe who decided to use the citizenship issue to attack him as Some Horrible Other, seeing as though open racism and xenophobia is off the table in polite society these days.  There are several baseball implications for this.

For starters, given his views on the matter, Orioles’ left fielder Luke Scott’s pregame routine is going to be a bit more complicated today.  I’d like to see him double down on this and simply respond “I see they’ve gotten to you too,” when confronted by the press, but I am not optimistic that he is that awesome.

More entertainingly, the release of the birth certificate has led many a clever baseball wag to weigh in on Twitter.  Our own Aaron Gleeman made a great point:

Big deal. Show me Livan Hernandez’s birth certificate. Then we have something.

I’ve seen it. It’s printed a foot off-center. However, in October 1997 the clerk ruled that it was perfectly acceptable.

Here’s a far more substantive connection between birtherism and baseball, from HBT reader Steve Ferra:

The brith certificate I want to see is Tony Gwynn Jr’s. He’s thin and can’t hit. I am extremely suspicious.

We are through the looking glass here people.

Shelby Miller will undergo Tommy John surgery

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Last we heard from Shelby Miller, the Diamondbacks’ right-hander was contemplating Tommy John surgery for a partial UCL tear in his right elbow. Now, he appears to have decided to go through with the procedure.

Miller decided to skip Tommy John alternatives like plasma-rich platelet injections or stem cell treatment, which have been used to varying degrees of success by other major league pitchers with similar injuries. The surgery will set him back an estimated 12-18 months, FanRag Sports’ Tommy Stokke reports, which puts Miller’s estimated return date somewhere in 2018 if all goes well.

The 26-year-old starter was off to a rocky start this season, posting a 2-2 record and 4.09 ERA through 22 innings and striking out just 20 of 99 batters faced. This was his sophomore campaign in Arizona after muddling through the 2016 season with a 3-12 record, 6.15 ERA and 0.5 fWAR over 101 innings with the club.

Steven Souza Jr. exits game after injuring his hand on a hit by pitch

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Rays’ right fielder Steven Souza Jr. left Saturday’s game after getting hit on the left hand by a pitch from Blue Jays’ right-hander Joe Biagini in the seventh inning. The pitch appeared to hit the top of Souza Jr.’s hand, causing the outfielder to crumple at the plate and requiring assistance from assistant athletic trainer Paul Harker as he exited the field. Postgame reports from the Tampa Bay Times’ Marc Topkin revealed that Souza Jr. sustained a left hand contusion and is scheduled to undergo further evaluation on Sunday.

While the diagnosis isn’t as bad as it could be, it’s still a tough break for the right fielder, who missed 40 days of the 2015 season after sustaining a fracture in his left hand on another hit by pitch. The team has yet to announce any concrete timetable for Souza Jr.’s return, though manager Kevin Cash indicated that they’ll be taking things day to day for the time being.

Souza Jr. is batting .326/.398/.543 with four home runs and 17 RBI through 104 PA in 2017. He went 1-for-2 with a base hit and a walk prior to his departure during Saturday’s 4-1 loss.