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4:55 PM ET, February 22, 2017

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 Top News: 
ESPN:
Sources: MLB, union agree to use dugout signal for intentional walk  —  As part of its initiative to improve pace-of-game play, Major League Baseball has approved a change to the intentional walk rule, going from the traditional four-pitch walk to a dugout signal, team and union sources told ESPN's Howard Bryant.
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Connor Byrne / MLB Trade Rumors:
Latest On Potential MLB Rule Changes  —  6:54pm: It now appears there will be one big change in 2017: MLB will switch to a dugout signal for intentional walks, team and union sources informed Howard Bryant of ESPN The Magazine (Twitter link).  —  6:12pm: Clark has responded to Manfred's comments (via FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal):
Associated Press:
MLB players' union agrees to pitchless intentional walks  —  NEW YORK (AP) - The players' association has agreed to Major League Baseball's proposal to have intentional walks without pitches this year.  —  While the union has resisted many of MLB's proposed innovations, players are willing to accept the intentional walk change.
Ken Rosenthal / Fox Sports:NEW!
Manfred gets confrontational over MLB union's resistance to pace-of-play changes  —  PHOENIX — I get the players' perspective.  They worry about the game on the field changing too radically due to pace-of-play improvements.  They worry, as one told me, that, “If you try to control the game, you turn us into robots.”
Discussion: Minor League Ball
Jeff Passan / Yahoo Sports:
How baseball players are trying stem cells to avoid Tommy John  —  TEMPE, Ariz. - On the day he hoped would save his elbow, Garrett Richards laid face down on a table with his back exposed.  A doctor guided a needle into the iliac crest of his pelvic bone and began to extract bone marrow.
Washington Post:
Nationals to sign Matt Wieters to one-year deal with 2018 option  —  WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The Washington Nationals agreed to terms on a deal with free agent catcher Matt Wieters on Tuesday, according to people with direct knowledge of the situation.  The deal is for one year with a 2018 option …
Vince Lara-Cinisomo / Baseball America:
Umpires Hirschbeck, Davidson, Joyce, Welke Retire  —  Four longtime umpires—Bob Davidson, John Hirschbeck, Jim Joyce and Tim Welke—have retired, Major League Baseball announced Tuesday.  —  In their places, Adam Hamari, Pat Hoberg, Gabe Morales and Carlos Torres have been named to the full-time Major League Umpiring staff.
Discussion: Bless You Boys
Yonhap News Agency:10 minutes ago
Fine sought for Pirates' Kang Jung-ho over DUI charges  —  South Korean prosecutors on Wednesday sought a 15 million won (US$13,117) fine against the Pittsburgh Pirates infielder Kang Jung-ho for driving under the influence of alcohol.  —  The Seoul Central District Court held a hearing …
Discussion: CBS Pittsburgh
Jeff Todd / MLB Trade Rumors:
Orioles Acquire Richard Bleier, Designate Christian Walker  —  The Orioles have acquired lefty Richard Bleier from the Yankees, per a club announcement, with cash or a player to be named later heading back in return.  Baltimore designated first baseman/outfielder Christian Walker for assignment to create roster space.
Discussion: Camden Chat and Yahoo Sports
Matt Breen / Philly.com:
Phillies prospect Victor Arano shut down for spring training with elbow injury  —  CLEARWATER, Fla. - Victor Arano, a Phillies pitching prospect with an electric arm, will likely miss the remainder of major-league spring training after suffering an elbow injury.
Discussion: Phillies Nation
Ken Rosenthal / Fox Sports:
Sergio Romo finds himself at home in Dodgers blue  —  GLENDALE, Az.  — Sergio Romo remembers a game early in his career when 30 of his friends and relatives showed up in the Giants' family section wearing Dodgers gear.  —  Giants manager Bruce Bochy called Romo into his office the next day and admonished him, half-jokingly.
Discussion: McCovey Chronicles
Josh Katzenstein / New Orleans Times-Picayune:
Sean Payton ‘absolutely’ expects Brandin Cooks to be with Saints in 2017  —  Cooks 86-yd TD: Panthers at Saints 2016  —  New Orleans Saints wide receiver Brandin Cooks (10) scores on an 86-yard catch in the first quarter during the game between the Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints at the Superdome on Sunday, October 16, 2016.
Discussion: ProFootballTalk and FanRag Sports
Tyler Kepner / New York Times:
Brewers Hope Eric Thames, Ruthian in South Korea, Has Crossover Power  —  PHOENIX — A package arrived recently for Eric Thames at Maryvale Baseball Park, the spring training home of the Milwaukee Brewers.  It was a fungo bat, thin-handled and light, a tool to help make his hands quicker.
RELATED:
Charlie Wilmoth / MLB Trade Rumors:
Central Notes: Thames, Turner, Tigers
Discussion: Red Reporter and MLive.com
Marc Carig / Newsday:
Neil Walker contract talks with Mets hit a snag, sources say  —  PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Despite recent meetings between Mets general manager Sandy Alderson and representatives for second baseman Neil Walker — talks that stoked optimism for getting a deal done — sources said on Monday morning …
RELATED:
Kristie Ackert / New York Daily News:
Mets Insider: Neil Walker, club still talking a new three-year deal
Discussion: NBCSports.com and Amazin' Avenue
 
 Latest News Finder: 
10 minutes ago
Yonhap News Agency:
Fine sought for Pirates' Kang Jung-ho over DUI charges   Find
5½ hours ago
Jeff Passan / Yahoo Sports:
How baseball players are trying stem cells to avoid Tommy John   Find
 
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 More News: 
St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
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ESPN:
Money for nothing: Baseball's worst contracts in 2017
Joe Mandak / Associated Press:
Attorney: Steelers' assistant coach Joey Porter to plead guilty to fracas citation
Discussion: ProFootballTalk and FanRag Sports
Darryl Slater / New York Jets Fan Blog:
Jets offer contract to N.J.'s K'Waun Williams, but he signs with 49ers, source says
Discussion: FanRag Sports and ProFootballTalk
 Earlier Picks: 
Nick Piecoro / Arizona Republic:
Arizona Diamondbacks shift focus to defense behind plate
Discussion: MLB Trade Rumors
Cincinnati.com:
Next Slide  —  GOODYEAR, Ariz. — Raisel Iglesias doesn't have his hair dyed blond.
Discussion: redsminorleagues.com
Associated Press:
Feliz in Brewers camp, ready to challenge for closer's role
Discussion: Brew Crew Ball
Ken Rosenthal / Associated Press:
Diamondbacks' Shelby Miller expects strong results with refreshed attitude
Discussion: MLB Trade Rumors
 

 
From WeSmirch:

Mike Barnes / Hollywood Reporter:
Leah Adler, Mother of Steven Spielberg, Dies at 97

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Little People, Big World's Audrey Roloff Is Pregnant, Expecting First Child With Husband Jeremy!

Alexis Benveniste / Page Six:
Nick Cannon welcomes son and names him after a color

 
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