Baseball wants to make inroads in Europe, but unlike the NBA — which can use any old arena — and the NFL — which can use soccer stadiums — baseball has a field problem. As in, there aren’t a lot of baseball diamonds over there big enough for showcase events.
Enter the London Olympics:
The biggest obstacle for MLB in Europe has been to find a facility with the right dimensions and seating capacity, and London’s Olympic Stadium is under consideration …
The London stadium will seat 80,000 spectators for the Olympics. After the games, it will be downsized to a 60,000-capacity multipurpose venue that includes track and field.
An official from MLB International is quoted as saying that, while not perfect, it could work for baseball. Maybe not Stade Olympique or Turner Field perfect, but it could be done.
Eh. They should build something from scratch. Maybe something akin to the top-end minor league parks being built here now — think Huntington Park here in Columbus — which are fantastic facilities. The setting for baseball matters way more than it does for other sports. If you want to sell the game to Europeans — and why else would they be doing this — sell it to them in a great place to see a ballgame. Not an ok-but-flawed conversion project.
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.