Brewers manager Ron Roenicke on umpire Mark Ripperger: “He’s terrible”

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Last night after the Brewers lost to the Padres in extra innings manager Ron Roenicke tore into home plate umpire Mark Ripperger, who ejected Roenicke from the game in the ninth inning.

Ripperger was previously the home plate umpire for a Brewers win over the Mets in July and apparently Roenicke was angry at him then too, so he said the following to Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel last night:

This is the thing that bothers me: This is the same umpire that we had before, and he is terrible behind home plate. He calls pitches that aren’t even close. The catcher sets up six inches off the plate and he calls them strikes. I should have been kicked out the last time that we saw him. He was behind the plate.

I’m tired of sitting here watching the catcher set up off the plate and hitting his glove and calling it a strike. They’re balls. So Frankie misses, OK, it’s off the plate this much, the first one he calls a ball. He’s been calling it all night. The next one was a little further off, but he’s been calling that also. Just call the same pitches, but they’re balls. I should have been kicked out in probably the second inning today. It’s the same guy.

Ripperger is a fill-in umpire up from Triple-A and Roenicke no doubt just earned himself a fine from MLB.

And here’s video of Roenicke’s anti-Ripperger tirade. It was Roenicke’s fourth ejection of the season and, for a fill-in umpire, Ripperger has ejected quite a few managers and players this season.

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.