I have no idea if Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks is a wrestling fan. I am pretty confident that he appeared on this week's Monday Night RAW, though, if only ever so briefly. Being in attendance is pretty normal for athletes, actors, and the like, but Middlebrooks might have been part of the show itself, and to top it off, might have no idea that's the case.
WWE likes to run teaser vignettes for their up-and-coming characters. Bo Dallas is one such wrestler who is set to debut soon, so WWE has been running new videos of his faux-motivational speeches each Monday. The latest, which ran in the third hour of Monday's show, features a baseball player, number 16, at the Syracuse Chiefs' park at around the 50-second mark:
Will Middlebrooks is no. 16 now and also used those digits in the minors. He spent time at the Triple-A level in 2011, 2012, 2013, and in 2014 on a rehab assignment. The batter in question looks a little less muscled than present-day Middlebrooks, so if it's him, it's likely from 2012, which means it's from a mid-April three-game set, as that's the only time Middlebrooks was on the PawSox when they visited Syracuse. It looks like Middlebrooks' swing and post-contact motions, too, and he even has the single pad on his front leg:
Here's present-day Middlebrooks at the plate, for comparison's sake:
Other than it looking physically like the Middlebrooks of a couple of years ago, it appears as if a Pawtucket road jersey is on display in the right corner, worn by a player I can't identify in this minor league–caliber footage:
I was pretty positive this was Middlebrooks upon first viewing last night, and further investigation has only strengthened that position. Dustin Pedroia is going to be so jealous.