Mariners could hire Tony La Russa as team president

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According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, Tony La Russa is on the Mariners’ “short list” to replace Chuck Armstrong as team president. Armstrong announced in November that he was retiring after 28 years during two separate stints with the club. The Mariners began their interview process this week with two internal candidates, but Nightengale writes that La Russa “could be the odds-on-favorite” for the job if they look outside the organization.

For his part, La Russa wouldn’t talk specifically about a position with the Mariners when asked by Nightengale, but he wasn’t shy about his interest in leaving his job as a special assistant to MLB commissioner Bud Selig for a chance at a front office job with a team.

“I’m interested in getting to the competition upstairs,” La Russa said. “I’ve missed the competition since I left the field. I talked to the commissioner [Bud Selig] about it. It’s not a thing where you miss the dugout, but I miss the winning and losing.

“The situation has to be right.”

There should be a resolution soon, as Mariners CEO Howard Lincoln told Nightengale said that he hopes to make a decision within the next three weeks. Armstrong is set to leave his position as president on January 31.

UPDATE: La Russa has confirmed to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal that he’s interested in the Mariners’ job. He even sent a resume. How adorable.

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.