As the Cubs were frittering away scoring opportunity after scoring opportunity against the Padres, a couple huge things were developing around the rest of the baseball world that merit mention here. Involving arguably baseball’s two best players, as a matter of fact.
The first is a thumb injury for Mike Trout, suffered on a headfirst slide yesterday, that today was revealed to be a UCL tear (not the elbow kind, but still not good). He’ll go to the disabled list for the first time in his career, and it could require surgery. Either way, he’s going to be out for a long time, and the Angels – a game below .500 and already 10.5 games back of the Astros in the AL West – are almost certainly toast without him.
It absolutely sucks for baseball to lose a star like Trout for any length of time. As for the other baseball implications, this could propel the Angels into selling. They don’t have a ton of marketable assets, but maybe a starter like Matt Shoemaker becomes an interesting buy low opportunity? As midseason approaches, we’ll have to consider this more closely.
Meanwhile, baseball’s other biggest name young star (not named Kris Bryant, that is) was involved in an unbelievable on-field fight, when Giants reliever Hunter Strickland hit Bryce Harper today, and it was on:
If you’re wondering what caused all that, the prevailing theory is that Strickland was angry about two Harper homers off of him in the playoffs three years ago(!). If that’s true, you can understand why Harper reacted as he did.
… even if you can’t understand how horribly he threw his helmet:
I've looked at this approximately 2,174 times, and it's still the best. pic.twitter.com/VB26rUzPrB
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) May 30, 2017
Other things you notice in the rumble:
(1) Buster Posey either didn’t care if Strickland got popped, or had been told this was coming, and he knew Strickland wanted to fight;
(2) Strickland was literally fighting his own teammates as they dragged him off the field; and
(3) Jeff Samardzija was streaking in to (it appeared) take a swing at Harper when he collided hard with teammate Michael Morse. The aftermath of that collision:
There will be some suspensions from this one, and Harper figures to take a disproportionate amount of the public blame, as he does for pretty much everything. He invites it with his brashness, but in this case, the dude had a right to be very angry (again, if it’s true that Strickland was throwing at him for the previous homers).