Marlins manager Jack McKeon announces retirement

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Jack McKeon’s return to managing at age 80 didn’t go quite as well as hoped, and he announced Monday that he’ll retire after Wednesday’s Marlins season finale.

McKeon is 39-48 since taking over the job in June, giving him a very similar record to the man he replaced.  The Marlins were 32-39 under Edwin Rodriguez and 0-1 in Brandon Hyde’s one game as interim manager.

No one was really expecting McKeon to remain the Marlins’ manager when they opened their new stadium in 2012, but the ride in his three-plus months at the helm has been bumpier than the team would have liked.  Not always pleased with his team’s effort, he was most vocal last month, saying, among other things, that “some of these guys had better wake up.”

It’s safe to assume that McKeon, who hadn’t managed since 2005 before joining the Marlins this year, is done for good this time.  With three games left to go, his record stands at 1,050-988.  He managed the Marlins to a World Series victory as a 72-year-old in 2003 and also won 96 games with the Reds back in 1999.

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.