Jonathan Papelbon fears crowds, Obama

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Jonathan Papelbon lived in Boston for a long time and had some personal insight and reflection about safety and things in the wake of Monday’s bombing.

But then he kept talking. Here he is on CSNPhilly.com, first mentioning an arguably reasonable fear of teams having players enter through the stands.  Then he adds “Shoot man, Obama wants to take our guns from us and everything. And you got this stuff going on? It’s a little bit insane for me.”

Ballplayers! They’re just like us!

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.