The Yankees don’t want anyone copyrighting the term “Evil Empire”

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Good reading over at Deadspin today, as Barry Petchesky tells the story of a couple of people who have printed up anti-Yankees merchandise with the phrase “Evil Empire” on it and who have attempted to register the copyright.  The Yankees, however, are none too pleased. Partially because it puts them in a bad light, but also because — oddly enough — they’re worried that people will be confused into thinking that the Yankees themselves are selling the Evil Empire stuff.

With the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry way less heated than it was six or seven years ago, this story almost seems quaint. But even if that part doesn’t jazz you, read it for the history of the phrase “Evil Empire,” which those of you who are old enough, will remember as a Ronald Reagan thing.

In other news: the Deadspin piece uses a picture of the Death Star from “Star Wars” with a Yankees logo on it, but doesn’t Yankee Stadium kind of look like the Death Star as it is?

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.