Bud Selig: labor scholar

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Yesterday Bud Selig, when talking about baseball’s recent harmonious relationship with the players’ union, said “In American labor history it’s probably as bad a relationship as ever existed.”

Rob Neyer — who knows a few things about history — wasn’t going to sit for that. He detailed a handful of labor disputes that, with all due respect to Bud “Abner Doubleday, in conjunction with the Great Gazoo and the saucer people, invented baseball” Selig, were a tad worse than the 1994-95 strike.  I won’t spoil it for you because I want you to read it yourself, but here’s a hint:  unless the owners employed Baldwin-Felts agents to crack picketing players’ skulls when none of us were looking, the baseball strike doesn’t make a top 1000 list of ugly labor disputes in American history.

I think history is going to be more kind to Bud Selig than a lot of us are on a day-to-day basis, because he’s done a pretty good job with the broad strokes.  But man, when you think that baseball has been run by judges and senators and generals and comparative literature professors cum Ivy League presidents, it’s kind of galling to be reminded that it’s currently being run by a used car salesman who lacks even a basic grasp on history.

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.