A day at the nail salon with Russell Martin

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ESPN’s Amy K. Nelson has a profile of Russell Martin.  The stuff about him regaining his health and confidence and baseball prowess in New York is the point of the story, but you’ll be forgiven if your attention is drawn to some stuff in the middle portion:

“It’s not a good feeling when you’re putting down a sign, and you’re not really sure if they’re going to throw that pitch,” he says as a woman cuts his cuticles in the salon before putting on a fresh coat of neon green on his right hand. He settled on manicures because he didn’t like the feel of tape on his fingers and whiteout was too messy …  He also says he prefers pedicures because everyone should take care of their feet.

Nelson last profiled Luke Scott.  I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that Scott wouldn’t agree to be interviewed while getting a mani/pedi in a nail salon.  And that’s not a swipe at Martin.

Neat article. Especially the stuff about the relationship between Martin and A.J. Burnett, who appears to have benefited from Martin’s presence more than anyone.

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.