Not so fast: Ryan Dempster says “THERE IS NO TRADE”

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So everyone — Atlanta reporters, Chicago reporters and national reporters — is running with the Ryan Dempster-to-Atlanta trade.  Only one problem: Ryan Dempster seems to not know about it:

And his knowledge of this is rather important given that he has 10/5 rights and must approve any deal.

Now, Dempster was reported a couple of weeks ago to be amenable to any trade to a contender, and there’s no reason at present to think that Dempster isn’t going to sign off here, but the fact is that the Cubs and Braves still need his formal sign off before a deal goes down. And, as of about five minutes ago, Dempster had just arrived at the Cubs clubhouse and was not packing. He was getting ready for the day just like any other.

Question: if people with the Cubs or the Braves are leaking this story to reporters before Dempster is approached for approval, how mad do you think that makes Dempster. Pretty darn mad, I’d guess.

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.