Valentine taking heat over his New York radio gig … sorta

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We mentioned before the season that Bobby Valentine agreed to do a weekly radio show Michael Kay in New York.  Unusual for a Red Sox manager? Sure. But kinda harmless, yes?

Maybe not says Richard Sandomir of the New York Times. He finds it quite odd, especially in light of the Red Sox’ slow start:

It is impossible to imagine Yankees Manager Joe Girardi, with a blandness that has eclipsed his spontaneity, getting an offer from WEEI or WBZ, the other sports-talk station in Boston. In fact, it is difficult to conceive of any coach or manager or general manager accepting an offer to appear regularly on a radio station in a bitter rival’s media market.

But if you read the article you note that there isn’t anyone complaining about it — or at least noting its irregularity — other than Sandomir.  The closest thing to anyone criticizing it is rival radio hosts — in Boston — wondering if Valentine’s answers to Michael Kay’s questions are better than his answers to their own.

I agree that it was unusual for Valentine to go on New York radio on a regular basis. But really, does anyone care at all?

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.