False Alarm: Bob Brenly NOT close to agreeing to be the Brewers next manager

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UPDATE:  The skepticism was warranted. Brewers GM Doug Melvin just shots down the Brenly rumor, saying “Unless somebody else has been doing the hiring process, that’s not true.”

11:30: A.M.  I slapped the “rumor” tag on the headline because if we were tallying “rumors that ended up being totally wrong” by media sector, radio guys would have a commanding lead.

With that disclaimer out of the way, Doug Russell of WSSP in Milwaukee is reporting that Bob Brenly is close to accepting an offer from the Brewers to be the club’s new manager. Brenly’s response is that he “has nothing to say right now.”

Brenly has a World Series ring, but he’s been out of the managing game since being let go by the Dbacks following the 2004.  He’s been broadcasting Cubs games since then.

He was reportedly in the running to manage the Brewers the last time the job was open prior to the 2009 season, but that obviously didn’t happen. The relationship he developed with Brewers brass during that go-around would likely explain why we hadn’t heard rumors about him replacing Ken Macha before now. No need for big interviews. Less opportunity for leaks.

I don’t know that Brenly would be the most inspiring choice, but for a team that has gone through firebrands like Ken Macha and Ned Yost in recent years, this is Milwaukee equivalent of hiring Dock Ellis or Bill Lee or someone like that.

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.