Tokyo gets Olympics; decision on baseball to come next

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Those wanting baseball and softball back in the Olympics got the news they were looking for Saturday: Tokyo was named the host city for the 2020 games, beating out Istanbul in a runoff after Madrid was eliminated earlier in the afternoon.

The decision on whether to add baseball and softball, squash or wrestling to the Olympic program for 2020 will come Sunday. Given the popularity of the sports in each region,  wrestling seemed an obvious choice for an Istanbul games, while baseball makes a ton of sense in Japan. Of course, this being the IOC, we shouldn’t trust common sense dictating what gets played. According to Nick Zaccardi, wrestling was viewed as the heavy favorite to get the nod going into today’s decision.

It won’t happen, but I’d say put both in. Taking wrestling out of the Olympics was a crazy idea in the first place, and while baseball may be less of an Olympic tradition, it will no doubt play to packed houses (that already exist and wouldn’t have to be built) in a country that loves the sport.

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.