Baseball announces the Roberto Clemente Award nominees

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The Roberto Clemente Award goes to the Major Leaguer who “best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual’s contribution to his team.” David Ortiz won it last year.  The 2012 nominees — one per team — were just announced and are listed below.

One complaint first. It’s the same complaint I lodge every year. Baseball has set up a fan voting aspect to this. Which makes no sense because (a) I can see no way which your average fan can gauge a player’s community involvement, either quantitatively or qualitatively; and (b) if they can’t, it’s just a fan popularity vote, which shouldn’t be a part of an award that is about something like community involvement.

All we can hope is that baseball makes the fan voting component a tiny, tiny part of it. Anyway:

Arizona Diamondbacks – Willie Bloomquist
Atlanta Braves – Tim Hudson
Baltimore Orioles – Jim Johnson
Boston Red Sox – Jon Lester
Chicago Cubs – David DeJesus
Chicago White Sox – Jake Peavy
Cincinnati Reds – Todd Frazier
Cleveland Indians – Jason Kipnis
Colorado Rockies – Michael Cuddyer
Detroit Tigers – Miguel Cabrera
Houston Astros – Wesley Wright
Kansas City Royals – Alex Gordon
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – C.J. Wilson
Los Angeles Dodgers – Clayton Kershaw
Miami Marlins – Logan Morrison
Milwaukee Brewers – Rickie Weeks
Minnesota Twins – Justin Morneau
New York Mets – Johan Santana
New York Yankees – Mark Teixeira
Oakland Athletics – Brandon McCarthy
Philadelphia Phillies – Jimmy Rollins
Pittsburgh Pirates – Chris Resop
St. Louis Cardinals – Matt Holliday
San Diego Padres – Luke Gregerson
San Francisco Giants – Matt Cain
Seattle Mariners – Felix Hernandez
Tampa Bay Rays – David Price
Texas Rangers – Michael Young
Toronto Blue Jays – Ricky Romero
Washington Nationals – Ryan Zimmerman

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.