Howard Johnson to play with son for indy team

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Metsblog.com points out that the Rockland Boulders of the independent Can-Am League on Tuesday announced the signing of father-and-son pair Howard and Glen Johnson.

The duo will play alongside one another on Sept. 4-5 against the Newark Bears.

“This may be my last go ‘round so it’s a great opportunity to play in a professional game with my son,” said Howard Johnson. “How many fathers can do that?”

The 51-year-old Johnson retired in 1995 after playing 14 seasons in the majors and making two All-Star teams.  A fantasy baseball stud as a third baseman and shortstop in the late-80s, he had three 30-homer and four 30-steal seasons for the Mets.  His best year came in 1989, when he hit .287/.369/.559 with 36 homers, 101 RBI, 41 steals and an NL-leading 104 runs scored.  He also led the NL in homers (38) and RBI (117) in 1991.

The younger Johnson was a 36th-round pick of the Mets out of high school in 2007, but he opted to go to college after the draft.  This will be his professional debut, and considering that he hit .220 for Pace University in his final year in school, it’s probably nothing more than a cameo for him.

So, yeah, it’s a publicity stunt for Rockland.  But what child of the 80’s can pass up a chance to write about Ho-Jo?

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.