Manny Ramirez officially reinstated from voluntary retirement list

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Let the bidding war begin. OK, not really.

According to Buster Olney of ESPN.com, Manny Ramirez has been officially reinstated by MLB from the voluntary retirement list.

We learned last weekend that Ramirez was planning a comeback. While he was initially expected to serve a 100-game suspension for a second positive test related to performance-enhancing drugs, MLB has ruled that since he sat out nearly the entire 2011 season, he’ll instead serve a 50-game penalty. However, the clock on his suspension won’t begin until he actually signs with a team.

There predictably hasn’t been much interest in Ramirez thus far, which could be why he has reportedly resorted to calling teams directly. The 39-year-old is currently working out in South Florida hoping to get a spring training invite somewhere.

Ramirez currently ranks 14th on the all-time list with 555 career home runs.

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.