Urban: All-Star Game musts


Urban: All-Star Game musts

July 12, 2011


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PROGRAMMING NOTE: Live All-Star Game Chat with Mychael Urban at 5:30 p.m.

Mychael Urban

PHOENIX -- As the countdown continues to Tuesday evening's MLB All-Star Game at Chase Field, here are five things at least one seasoned veteran of many a Midsummer Classic is hoping to see in this year's showcase of (most of) the biggest names in the game.1) Gio Gonzalez pitching to Pablo Sandoval: It's the only way possible we'll see two Bay Area All-Stars squaring off, and it'd be only fitting because the Athletics lefty and the Giants' third baseman are cut from the same cloth. A couple of big kids out there, thrilled and feeling incredibly blessed, having the time of their lives.URBAN: A's Gonzalez all smiles at first All-Star Game
2) Jose Bautista going deep -- twice: Toronto's classy slugger hears PED whispers everywhere he goes, but he handles the innuendo with grace and aplomb. Hard not to like him. He appeared a tad nervous in the Home Run Derby. A couple of long balls tonight would give the country a look at what they've been missing.3) Justin Upton having a big night: As the unofficial host of the event, the Diamondbacks' outfielder is surely a little gassed by now. Here's hoping he can summon enough energy to come off the bench and put his dizzying array of all-around skills to productive use in front of the home crowd.4) Ryan Vogelsong in the game: Even if it's just for a batter or two. It would give Fox an opportunity to tell more of his story to an audience that likely doesn't know it, and put a nice big bow on the whole experience for the Giants' unsung righty.URBAN: Overseas to All-Star, Vogelsong
5) Brian Wilson striking out the side: In the most gaudy cleats humanly possible, of course. The Giants' closer loves a big stage, and this is as big as it gets before the playoffs. Don't think he's not dying to hold court in the middle of the spotlight.

Reigning AL MVP Trout to undergo thumb surgery, out 6-8 weeks

Reigning AL MVP Trout to undergo thumb surgery, out 6-8 weeks

ANAHEIM -- Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout has a torn ligament in his left thumb and will have surgery Wednesday that is expected to sideline him between six to eight weeks.

The Angels put the reigning AL MVP on the disabled list Monday for the first time in his career. The outfielder hurt himself a day earlier making a headfirst slide to steal second base in Miami.

At 25, Trout already is a two-time AL MVP. He is hitting .337 and has 16 home runs, second most in the majors.

Angels general manager Billy Eppler said an MRI revealed the tear. Team doctor Steve Shin arrived in Anaheim later Monday night, met with Trout and it was determined surgery was his best option.

"It was news no player wants to hear," Eppler said. "He's been put in a tough spot and it's something he's still digesting."

The Angels lost shortstop Andrelton Simmons to a similar thumb injury last season. He had surgery and was out slightly over five weeks.

Los Angeles was 26-28 going Monday night's game at home against Atlanta, and the lineup recently missed ailing slugger Albert Pujols.

Trout made his major league debut by playing 40 games for the Angels in 2011. Since then, he's been a five-time All-Star and has finished in the top two in the AL MVP all five seasons.

A year after hitting .315 with a .441 on-base percentage, 29 home runs, 100 RBIs and 30 steals, Trout was off to a dynamic start. He was leading the league in on-base percentage (.461) and slugging percentage (.742) when he was hurt.

"It's really hard to quantify (his loss)," Eppler said. "We're going to feel that impact and it's going to require multiple people stepping up in his absence. The team will fight as it always does. But he's in the heart of the order and a leader in the dugout. Those are tough to absorb."

Dodgers infielder weighs in on Harper's errant helmet throw

Dodgers infielder weighs in on Harper's errant helmet throw

Before the right hooks and haymakers, there was the helmet toss.

A very bad helmet toss.

As he made his way to the mound after getting hit by a pitch on Monday afternoon, Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper attempted to throw his helmet at Giants reliever Hunter Strickland. He missed by a wide margin.

Observers took notice, including Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner.

"What was worse, Harper's helmet throw or 50 Cents first pitch? Heads up in the #McCoveyCove," Turner tweeted shortly after the brawl between the Giants and Nationals.

Turner is referring to a ceremonial first pitch thrown by rapper 50 Cent prior to a Mets game in 2014.

Harper mentioned the helmet when addressing the situation after the game.

"I was trying to go after him, with the helmet or with myself, just doing what I needed to do keep it going, I guess," Harper told reporters.