UPDATE: Angelos willing to talk if Ripken wants job with O's

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Cal Ripken.jpgUPDATE: Angelos says Ripken has not offered himself to the team as a prospective employee, reports Buster Olney of ESPN.com.

“Quite simply, Cal Ripken did not offer to become part of the Oriole
organization in any secondary position, such as manager or as an
assistant to [team president] Andy MacPhail, or in some kind of support
role of MacPhail,” Angelos said. “If he wants to make such a proposal,
I’d like to hear about it.”

8:41 AM: Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that that Cal Ripken Jr. met with team president Andy MacPhail about rejoining the Orioles in a front office capacity, however the idea was eventually shot down by owner Peter Angelos.

Angelos, however, nixed the idea in a separate conversation with Ripken,
telling him, according to three sources, that he did not want Ripken to
receive credit once the team returned to prominence.

Rosenthal also writes that Angelos did not want to create the perception that MacPhail was not in complete control, a view that shows how out of touch he is with the fanbase already.

Listen, this sounds like pure ego stuff to me, but if Angelos is so worried about perception, he should have been prepared for the very real possibility that if he declined Ripken’s overtures, it would eventually leak out to the press. He should also recognize that if he wants to get in a battle with Ripken — the most beloved player in franchise history — for the hearts and minds of Orioles fans, he will lose every time.

Will Middlebrooks carted off field with injury

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Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.

Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.

The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.