Via Baseball Musings, we learn of a study which is sad:
Researchers report “beaning” a member of the opposing team — deliberately hitting him with a pitch — is divorced in fans’ minds from the notion of moral responsibility.
In other words, the batter who received a nasty bruise — or worse — when he was hit by a retaliatory pitch didn’t really deserve it, in the minds of most fans. But a great many support beaning him regardless.
No word on what people thought when it was their team’s player, dammit, who got beaned.
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.