My biggest objection to a challenge system has long been based on the fact that that’s what the NFL uses in its repay system, and the NFL is wrong about everything, so there. But there are baseball arguments against it as well, as reader Shimoda pointed out this morning:
The first time LaRussa or some other manager challenges a call that was so obviously correct in the first place just to give a relief pitcher
more time to warm up in the bullpen you will realize how terrible of an
idea the challenge system would be for baseball.
Bingo. I want managers thinking about bullpen usage and outfield depth and telling pitchers when to throw at the opposition because of some perceived slight from, like, four months ago. The last thing we need is for some wrinkle that allows for some new bullcrap layer of gamesmanship.
A layer on which you just know that La Russa or whoever fills his annoying shoes would corner the market.
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.