Must-click link: Whatever happened to Tom Emanski?

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If you watched ESPN from the mid-90s to the late oughts, you certainly know who Tom Emanski is. At least you know the name, which was applied to his line of youth baseball instructional videos. The ones which boasted of Emanski coaching “back-to-back-to-back AAU Champion.” The ones which featured extremely satisfying shots of ballplayers fielding outfield grounders and firing them into garbage cans placed at home plate. The ones in which Fred McGriff gave his “full endorsement.”

Why were those commercials so ubiquitous on ESPN back then? Why did they suddenly stop? What the heck ever happened to Tom Emanski and, come to think about it, who the hell was Tom Emanski anyway?

Erik Malinowski of Fox has a big story about those videos and the man behind them. If you’ve ever seen and wondered about those commercials and those videos, you should go check it out.

 

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.