Valentine taking heat over his New York radio gig … sorta

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We mentioned before the season that Bobby Valentine agreed to do a weekly radio show Michael Kay in New York.  Unusual for a Red Sox manager? Sure. But kinda harmless, yes?

Maybe not says Richard Sandomir of the New York Times. He finds it quite odd, especially in light of the Red Sox’ slow start:

It is impossible to imagine Yankees Manager Joe Girardi, with a blandness that has eclipsed his spontaneity, getting an offer from WEEI or WBZ, the other sports-talk station in Boston. In fact, it is difficult to conceive of any coach or manager or general manager accepting an offer to appear regularly on a radio station in a bitter rival’s media market.

But if you read the article you note that there isn’t anyone complaining about it — or at least noting its irregularity — other than Sandomir.  The closest thing to anyone criticizing it is rival radio hosts — in Boston — wondering if Valentine’s answers to Michael Kay’s questions are better than his answers to their own.

I agree that it was unusual for Valentine to go on New York radio on a regular basis. But really, does anyone care at all?

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.