The Braves remove their cursed locker

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I don’t believe in curses and such, but many do. And those who do believe that there was a cursed locker in the Braves’ clubhouse at Turner Field. It was the one that used to be next to Greg Maddux’s, and everyone who has had it since 1997 has suddenly forgotten how to play baseball and/or found their career ending soon after being assigned the spot.

Now, however, it is no more: Dave O’Brien and Carroll Rogers of the AJC report that it has been converted from a locker to a kiosk at which the players reserve comp tickets for home games.

Which could be worse. Because it’s one thing for that locker to essentially end the careers of Robert Fick and Ken Caminiti. It’s another thing altogether when some players’ parents or friends gets a case of food poisoning while sitting in their comped seats.

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.