Manny Ramirez: the drug suspensions were “the best thing happened to me”

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Ken Rosenthal has an exclusive interview with Manny Ramirez. As we saw last week, Manny wants back in baseball. That may be a pipe dream, but it’s not anything new.

What is new is Manny speaking openly about his two PED suspensions:

He received a 50-game suspension in ’09 and was on the verge of a 100-game suspension in ’11, but he referred to his discipline as “the best thing happened to me.”

“I appreciate what I have more,” he said. “And I know I’ve got to take care of it. Before I do something, I’ve got to think twice: ‘If I do this, this is going to come out.’

“Before you did things and you didn’t worry about the consequences. Now you’ve got the knowledge and experience. You know you’ve got to do the right thing.”

Good interview. Manny is still pretty deluded in my view, but he’s now more expressively deluded. I guess that’s progress.

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.