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6:05 PM ET, February 24, 2012

Ballbug

 Top News: 
Mike Lupica / NY Daily News:
Milwaukee Brewers' Ryan Braun is acquitted, not exonerated over testosterone test  —  Commissioner's connection to Brewers raises questions  —  Ryan Braun gets off with no penalty after failing a test for performance-enhancing drugs.  —  Ryan Braun says he is innocent and that he is clean, that he never used synthetic testosterone.
RELATED:
Maple Leafs / Toronto Star:
Milwaukee Brewers' Ryan Braun ‘dodged a bullet’: Dick Pound … Brendan Kennedy  —  Milwaukee Brewers slugger Ryan Braun claimed victory Friday in what he called a day for “everybody who has ever been wrongly accused,” but his successful appeal leaves many unanswered questions …
Discussion: HardballTalk
ESPN:
Ryan Braun says testing process failed  —  Milwaukee Brewers slugger Ryan Braun said he won his appeal of a positive drug test and 50-game suspension because “the truth is on my side.”  —  “Today is for everybody who has ever been wrongly accused,” he said Friday at a news conference …
Discussion: ESPN and baseballmusings.com
Adam McCalvy / MLB.com:
In speaking, Braun proud of ‘integrity’  —  PHOENIX — Addressing the media one day after he became the first Major Leaguer to successfully appeal a suspected violation of MLB's Drug Treatment and Prevention Program, Brewers star outfielder Ryan Braun said the ordeal has been the greatest challenge of his life.
Discussion: Brew Beat
Fox Sports:
Why did MLB case vs. Braun fall apart?
Discussion: Over the Monster
Associated Press:
Ryan Braun wins appeal of suspension
Tim Brown / Yahoo! Sports:
NL MVP Ryan Braun wins appeal of drug test
Craig Calcaterra / HardballTalk:
Ryan Braun wins the appeal of his drug suspension
Adam McCalvy / MLB.com:
Braun wins appeal of 50-game suspension
Jim Souhan / Souhan on Sports:
Morneau speaks realistically about his future  —  Justin Morneau spoke on Friday morning in Fort Myers, and if you get past the usual optimism that every athlete offers when dealing with injuries, the news was not good.  —  Asked if he's contemplated his concussion symptoms ending his career, Morneau said:
Eddie Matz / ESPN:
Saviormetrics  —  Brandon McCarthy was almost out of baseball in 2010 when he reinvented himself by writing Moneyball's next chapter.  Now he's one of the game's best pitchers.  —  ESPN The Magazine  —  Williams + Hirakawa  —  The A's think so highly of “MacNasty” that he'll earn $4.275 million this season.
Jon Krawczynski / Globe and Mail:
Justin Morneau hopeful concussion issues are behind him  —  Justin Morneau arrived at spring training for the Minnesota Twins hopeful that his concussion issues are finally behind him.  However, the former AL MVP isn't making any guarantees because he knows he doesn't have many more treatment and recovery periods left in him.
Bill Shaikin / Los Angeles Times:
Rick Caruso, Joe Torre withdraw bid to buy Dodgers  —  Caruso and Torre say in a letter to Major League Baseball that they are withdrawing their bid because of Frank McCourt's refusal to include the Dodger Stadium parking lots in the deal.  —  Rick Caruso, Joe Torre (Los Angeles Times)
Discussion: Dodgers Blog, HardballTalk and 6-4-2
RELATED:
ESPN:   Report: Torre, developer withdraw Dodgers bid
Bill Shaikin / Dodgers Blog:
Rick Caruso, Joe Torre withdraw from bidding to buy Dodgers
Dan Shaughnessy / Boston Globe:
Pedroia still smarting from failures of 2011  —  FORT MYERS, Fla. - He can laugh about it now, but it wasn't funny the night it happened.  Dustin Pedroia was sitting at a table alongside Jacoby Ellsbury, preparing to be honored at the Gold Glove awards dinner in New York in November …
RELATED:
Associated Press:   Scary offseason for Red Sox reliever Bobby Jenks
Max Marchi / Baseball Prospectus:
The Stats Go Marching In  —  While evaluating Jose Molina's defensive skills a couple weeks ago, we were able to assign a run value to four aspects of catcher defense: blocking errant pitches, preventing the opposing team from stealing bases, fielding short batted balls …
Discussion: DRaysBay and THE BOOK
Marc Hulet / FanGraphs Baseball:
Top 15 Prospects: New York Yankees  —  As a life-long Toronto Blue Jays fan it's not easy to like the Yankees.  As a prospect analyst, though, I can't help but love the organization's minor league system.  Even when New York has “hiccups” with its draft philosophy, the system manages to churn …
Marc Topkin / The Heater Feed:
Zobrist: “We're planning on winning World Series”  —  Rays 2B/RF Ben Zobrist is about as earnest and honest as they come, and he made it clear how he feels about the season after reporting to camp on Friday morning:  —  “It's exciting, a new year, 2012.  We're planning on winning the World Series this year.
Discussion: baseballmusings.com
Doug Padilla / ESPN:
Starlin Castro says he's innocent  —  MESA, Ariz. — Chicago Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro maintained his innocence in the face of a sexual assault complaint, saying Friday the entire incident has taught him a valuable lesson.  —  With Chicago police investing a possible sexual assault last Sept. 28 …
Discussion: Yahoo! Sports
Marc Topkin / The Heater Feed:
Live from Port Charlotte: Zimmer meets bear  —  Friday morning at Rays camp started with an impromptu photo shoot.  Also, 2B/RF Ben Zobrist reported to camp, which means all the rostered position players came in early.  —  But back to the event.  Rays PR staff Andrew Heydt …
Robert MacLeod / Globe and Mail:
Vizquel has the knowledge, Jays have the need  —  DUNEDIN, FLA.— From Friday's Globe and Mail  —  Strict attention is paid even to the smallest of details when it comes to baseball's spring training.  —  Arriving at 7:30 a.m. at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium on Thursday …
Discussion: Yahoo! Sports
RELATED:
Gregor Chisholm / MLB.com:
Rasmus arrives; nearly entire club in camp
Discussion: HardballTalk
 
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 More News: 
Associated Press:
Ryan Zimmerman wants deal soon
Discussion: Yahoo! Sports
Richard Sandomir / Bats:
Judge Defers Ruling on Mets' Madoff Case
Discussion: Kranepool Society
Brittany Ghiroli / MLB.com:
Orioles add sports psychologist to staff
Discussion: HardballTalk
FOXSportsWisconsin.com:
FS Wisconsin and the Milwaukee Brewers announce 2012 telecast schedule
Discussion: Disciples of Uecker and JSOnline
MLB.com:
Byrdak starting spring a little bit lower
Mike Kerwick / NorthJersey.com:
Jason Bay's time, fans' patience, running out in N.Y.
 Earlier Picks: 
CBSSports.com Sports News, Fantasy Scores …:
The Winter Standings, from 1 through 30
Maury Brown / The Biz of Baseball:
Selig Pushes for Expanded Playoffs in 2012, Decision in No More Than a Week
Bob Nightengale / USA Today:
MLB players pained by first HGH testing, oppose it in-season
Fox Sports:
Rays' starting pitching depth scary good
Barry M. Bloom / MLB.com:
Steinbrenner: Mo ‘obviously a lifelong Yankee’
 

 
From WeSmirch:

Variety:
Sony Cancels Theatrical Release for ‘The Interview’ on Christmas

Lynette Rice / People.com:
Stephen Collins Confesses Sexual Abuse of Underage Girls to PEOPLE: ‘I Did Something Terribly Wrong’

Sandra Sobieraj Westfall / People.com:
The Obamas: How We Deal with Our Own Racist Experiences

 
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