Buster Olney is on vacation this week and, in his place, various players have been writing guest columns at the beginning of his daily link post. Today it’s Yoenis Cespedes. Mostly it’s about adjusting to life in the United States. It’s pretty interesting.
Part of what’s interesting: two of the A’s players he singles out for credit in helping him adjust. On of them is Bartolo Colon, who, along with Jordan Norberto, he calls “my adoptive family,” and says that he doesn’t even want to imagine what would have happened without them. I guess he’ll have to figure out how to live with Colon now.
But the one to which he gives the most effusive credit? Yup, Manny:
Manny Ramirez provided invaluable support during spring training … During spring training, Manny told me I would hit in the majors and that I only had to work hard every day. Having the opportunity to work closely with someone who has been as extraordinary as Manny is something I will never forget.
I noticed when I was in Phoenix for spring training that the A’s had put Cespedes’ locker right next to Manny’s and that Manny was the only one I saw him talking to apart from his translator, Ariel Prieto.
It’s almost as if the A’s and Cespedes don’t believe all of that “Manny is a clubhouse cancer” stuff that everyone accepts as gospel.
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.