Joe Maddon, Bill Belichick are brothers in casual wear

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belichick-hoodie.jpgIt’s a little bit late since the Great Joe Maddon Hoodie Controversy was solved last week, but the Tampa Bay Rays manager nonetheless received some support in his quest for wardrobe freedom when he received a hoodie in the mail from none other than Patriots coach – and noted hoodie enthusiast — Bill Belichick.

The Patriots hoodie came embroidered with a “J.M.” on the front, making it pretty fancy by hoodie standards. Maddon called the gift “very cool,” and he should have just left it at that. Instead, he went on to tell the Associated Press:

“It’s quite an accomplishment, quite an achievement to get something from a coach who’s won the Super Bowl,” Maddon said.

Yes, it is quite the accomplishment. Much like it was an accomplishment for me to receive a letter in the mail from the former sidekick on The Tonight Show. (I may already be a millionaire!)

Maddon says he won’t wear the hoodie. After all he’s a smart guy and knows MLB will frown on any of their managers wearing NFL gear. But he will display the sweatshirt in his office in a nice show of solidarity with his brother in casual wear.

One question though. Do you think they’ll let Bob Huggins be a part of their club?

Are you on Twitter? You can follow Bob here, and get all your HBT updates here.

Will Middlebrooks carted off field with left ankle 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.