Reports: Rob Manfred one vote shy of being named commissioner

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Trying to decide on a new commissioner from a list trimmed to two candidates, the owners were deadlocked after the latest ballot, CSN New England’s Sean McAdam reported. They’ve since broken into small groups and could yet have another vote today.

Before the afternoon’s vote, Tim Brosnan bowed out of the race. MLB’s Executive Vice President of Business is well respected, but he had little support behind Bud Selig’s preferred replacement, MLB Chief Operating Officer Rob Manfred. It’s now a two-man race between Manfred and Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner.

Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that Manfred received 22 of the 30 votes in this afternoon’s ballot, leaving him just one shy of election.

There are two outcomes at play for the rest of the day: either Manfred is named the new commish or the process gets pushed back to the next round of owners meetings. With Manfred just one vote away, one imagines Selig will pull some strings and get this wrapped up today.

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.