Matt Harvey to appear nude in ESPN the Magazine

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ESPN the Magazine’s answer to the SI Swimsuit issue is its annual “Body Issue.”  Which is at least more honest than the Swimsuit Issue is in its intentions of giving you nude pictures of athletes. It’s not pretending to be something it isn’t. Here’s Jose Bautista from it last year. True to life but for the uniform and the complaining about the call on the imaginary pitch he’s swinging at.

They really do try to please everyone with this, giving us more or less tasteful nude men, women and athletes of all different sports. At least the good-looking ones. I don’t think John Daly is making this bad boy, but within the realm of the fit athletes, they do give a pretty fair representation of the sporting world.

This year’s baseball entrant: Matt Harvey. Who already has a sexy curveball. Guess we’ll see if there’s anything else sexy about him when the issue hits the stands next month.

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.