Stores in St. Louis are giving away Pujols merchandise

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The St. Louis region was shocked at Thursday morning’s announcement that Cardinals icon Albert Pujols had accepted a 10-year, $250 million pact from the Angels. And so were its retail shops.

According to Matthew Hathaway of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, four area Pro Image Sports stores began giving away Pujols jerseys and jersey shirts (valued between $14.99 and $129.99) soon after the three-time MVP’s decision was made public. Other apparel stores in the area soon followed suit, looking to dump stacks of usually-coveted Pujols gear that had suddenly been rendered worthless.

“It’s not about the money, just like Albert said,” Pro Image Sports owner Paul Russo told the Post-Dispatch. “Except he lied, and we didn’t.” FatHead has also slashed prices on its Pujols stock by over 65%.

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.