John Danks says Jose Bautista was “acting like a clown”

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Jose Bautista hit an infield popup in the fourth inning of yesterday’s White Sox-Blue Jays game and got mad at himself over it. The man pitching at the time was John Danks and he didn’t like the way Bautista handled himself.  They jawed at one another after Bautista slammed his bat down while running out the popup:

“I just told him to run the bases. He was out there acting like a clown. He’s had a great year and a half — no doubt. He’s one of the best players in the league. But he’s out there acting like he’s Babe Ruth or something.  Just the way he was acting. He ran halfway down the line and stopped and spiked his bat. I get it. He’s upset at himself. He’s a good hitter, he’s had a great couple years. But he isn’t that good to be acting like he needs to hit every ball out of the ballpark.”

Hey, we should defer to Danks here. He’s 0-8 with a 5.25 ERA and got rocked again yesterday, so if anyone knows how to handle failure, it’s him. We should all take his example when we do a poor job at what we set out to do. Handle it stoically. Have no reaction at all. Who are we to argue with him?

On the other hand, maybe Danks shouldn’t worry too much about how opposing batters who are clearly not setting out to show him up react in these sorts of situations.  Is Danks proposing a whole new set of unwritten rules about the proper deportment of ballplayers following a given outcome of a specific play the field?  Does he not realize that, in addition to being totally nuts, that Chris Carpenter and Tony La Russa are already chairing that particular committee?

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.