Ozzie Guillen suspended for five games

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The Miami Marlins just announced that Ozzie Guillen has been suspended for five games, effective immediately.  This came about 20 minutes before his press conference began. A statement accompanied the suspension. After announcing it, it reads:

“The Marlins acknowledge the seriousness of the comments attributed to Guillen. The pain and suffering caused by Fidel Castro cannot be minimized especially in a community filled with victims of the dictatorship.

One gets the sense that this is a preliminary penalty. Designed to try to head off the situation before it gets out of hand.  If it settles people down, that’ll be it. If not, more discipline, I suspect. Or termination.

Either way, the statement is a good one, I believe. And, given that this is primarily a local issue, it is probably better that the Marlins are doing this than MLB, eve if I think all of this response is disproportionate in light of both the nature of Guillen’s comments and the fact that he has already issued what I think was a sincere apology.

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.