Josh Beckett ignores rumors, wants to stay in Boston

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With the Red Sox shaping up as long shots in the AL East, the team is reportedly fielding inquiries on Josh Beckett, despite his no-trade protection. Beckett, though, told WEEI.com he wants to stay in Boston, assuming that he’s still wanted.

Asked if he still wanted to be in Boston, Beckett replied:

Absolutely. But if people don’t want you, you don’t want to be there. Obviously I have some things where it would be very difficult for them to trade me if I didn’t want to be traded. But you have to think realistically. If you’re not wanted somewhere, why stay there? Know what I mean? It kind of makes it a little more difficult. But [GM Ben Cherington] assured me during spring training that he wants me here, so as far as I’m concerned, it’s just made-up fodder.

Beckett is signed through 2014 and will make $15.75 million each of the next two years. It seems like a fair price for what he brings to the table, even if he has been something of a disappointment with his 4.57 ERA this season.

Beckett said that if the Red Sox did present him with a trade scenario, he would consider it:

Obviously I would use my 10/5 right to make sure it’s the right situation. But like I said, if somebody says they’re going to trade you, that usually means they don’t want you. I think that’s where you’d have to think about your situation and their situation. Nobody wants to be somewhere where they’re not wanted.

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.