Major League Baseball and the MLBPA are talking about alcohol-related incidents

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The other day we heard that the league will attempt to seek the option to discipline players involved in off-the-field cases — like DUI — when labor contract talks begin after this season.  Now the Associated Press is reporting that those conversations have already started:

 Major League Baseball and its players’ association are considering a formal plan for dealing with alcohol-related incidents in the next collective bargaining agreement. Two baseball officials confirmed the negotiations to The Associated Press on Friday, speaking on condition of anonymity because the talks are considered confidential.

The framework is there, what with the current CBA already providing for penalties involving drugs of abuse as opposed to just PEDs.  Obviously it’s not the same situation in that no one is suggesting that players can’t drink, so the violation part of any alcohol offense would not determined by MLB like it is with other drugs. Things they’d have to talk about would include offenses like DUI and drunken disorderlies and stuff and where it all fits in with the justice system.

Another way to go is to simply sidestep alcohol and deal with criminal activity in general.  That would have its own issues too in terms of what kind of behavior would warrant discipline. Drunk driving is one thing. Cheating on taxes is something else.  And given the way pleas go, you can’t really just say felonies lead penalties, misdemeanors don’t.

But even if it isn’t easy, I’m glad they’re at least talking about it.

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.