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Will Middlebrooks Playing with Two Broken Ribs

The Red Sox have dropped six of their last seven and the bandwagon is quickly emptying out. Bad luck, sloppy play, poor pitching and injuries have been the main issues. One of those injured is Will Middlebrooks. He is hurt much more than he or the Red Sox have led you to believe. An inside source has told me that Middlebrooks has two broken and separated ribs. The third baseman was and is hell bent on playing through it. Apparently he was able to convince the Red Sox to let him play but also to keep the details of his injury quiet.

Middlebrooks is the ultimate gamer and feels the team needs him out there. The Red Sox do not have many options to replace him at this point. Middlebrooks wanted to keep it quiet because he did not want to be questioned on a nightly basis about playing with two broken ribs.

I applaud Middlebrooks for his toughness and his desire to not let the team down. This could very easily backfire in a number of ways. It sets Will up to really be crucified by the media and fans. He already was struggling but a healthy Middlebrooks could easily turn it around, an injured one may not. He could then be easily labeled a flash in the pan when the truth is that he wasn't healthy.

 The other scenario is the pain becomes too great, does further damage to his ribs and has to miss significant time. He will then be labeled soft or the new J.D Drew. I can already see the message board goons calling him Wilma Middlebrooks. After all, the ill informed will rationalize that all he had was bruised ribs. Ask Jacoby Ellsbury about perception and reality.

 Coming out and being honest about it would be best for all parties involved. A short trip to the DL so his broken ribs could heal could be exactly what he needs physically and mentally.

 To his credit, Middlebrooks seems to understand how this can backfire but it does not seem to bother him. He joked about how he was already struggling and hearing it from the fans. He believes in himself though and is only worried about the team. He truly believes that him being out there playing through it gives the Sox the best chance to win.

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