The Marlins ran an embarrassing contest

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At Big League Stew, Mike Oz details how a Marlins “ultimate fan” contest went horribly awry. The directions told fans to post a photo to Instagram using the hashtag “#MarlinsFanCave” to enter to win a prize — a trip to New York City with the Marlins from June 7-9. Gee, what could be more fun than hitting up Times Square with Placido Polanco and Greg Dobbs?

Oz quoted some of the responses found on the Marlins Facebook post for the contest:

“you guys have no fans.”

“do I get to hide in shame in this cave?”

“Is this the cave where Loria and Samson are hiding?”

“This organization might just be the funniest joke ever.”

“If anyone needs Marlins cheap first row tickets Message me.”

“Please let me choose the game to watch. If I have to watch the Marlins I would feel like I had lost.”

And from Instagram:

“It’s just pathetic at this point. Cancel this account!! Cancel the season while you’re at it.”

“Wait, there is such a thing as marlins fans?”

When you cut the team’s payroll from $101 million to $50 million, this kind of acrimony is to be expected. The Marlins own baseball’s worst offense and are tied with the Houston Astros at 10-25 for the worst record. As a result, the Marlins have the worst attendance in the National League, averaging fewer than 19,000 fans per game.

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.