Federal courthouse security guards investigated for accepting Roger Clemens autographs

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Security guards at the federal courthouse in Washington, D.C. are in trouble after allegedly accepting autographed baseballs from Roger Clemens before his perjury trial last month.

According to the Washington Post the U.S. Marshals Service “is investigating why and how six signed balls were sent to a guard by someone on Clemens’ defense team” and “that guard apparently passed the balls along to four or five other officers.”

Security guards are prohibited from accepting gifts of any kind and “could face a range of disciplines that includes dismissal.”

The newspaper quotes a source as saying that the baseballs “may have been a ‘thank you’ gift from Clemens’ defense team” for the security guards helping to “shepherd Clemens past a battalion of reporters and photographers as he left the courthouse.”

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.