So much for Jim Leyland and Dave Dombrowski potentially being on the hot seat in Detroit.
With the Tigers four games up in the AL Central race in search of their first division title since 1987 the team just announced contract extensions for the manager and general manager, with Leyland’s deal now going through next season and Dombrowski signed through 2015.
Both men were in the final year of their current deals and back in spring training it was a sore subject for Leyland, who made a point of not wanting to talk about his status and dropped a hint about Dombrowski’s responsibility if the Tigers had another disappointing season. That’s a moot point now, as the Tigers have emerged as the class of the admittedly extremely underwhelming AL Central with a 48-38 record since a sluggish April.
Leyland has a 485-440 (.524) record in six seasons as Detroit’s manager, with his lone playoff appearance coming in 2006 as the team advanced to the World Series. Dombrowski has been GM since 2002, rebuilding the roster from back-to-back 100-loss seasons to post winning records in five of the past six years.
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.