Marlins catcher Brett Hayes gets scare from gunman

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Driving in South Florida with his wife on the Marlins’ off day Thursday, catcher Brett Hayes got one of the scares of his life, as a man with a handgun approached his car from the median.

Traffic had stopped because of an incident further up the road. Unbeknownst to Hayes at the time, the man approaching him had already shot and wounded two South Florida law enforcement offices.

”The guy was walking by our car, and I made eye contact with him,” Hayes said. ”I looked away nonchalantly and told my wife, ‘Don’t look at him,’ because it looked like he was obviously up to no good. Later I found out he had already shot two police officers.”

An officer carrying a handgun and wearing a bulletproof vest soon passed Hayes’ car in pursuit. A short time later, the gunman killed himself, something Hayes only found out while listening to the radio later.

”The creepy thing about it was that the guy looked like he was walking down the street to go to the supermarket,” Hayes said. ”He was very nonchalant.

You look back and you’re like, ‘I can’t believe that just happened.”’

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.