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5:40 PM ET, February 29, 2012

Ballbug

 Top News: 
Tom Singer / MLB.com:
Burnett to Pittsburgh for exam on injured eye  —  Newly acquired pitcher hurt in freak bunting accident  —  BRADENTON, Fla. — A.J. Burnett is bound for Pittsburgh, where he will undergo additional medical examinations Thursday on his injured right eye.  —  Burnett bunted a ball …
RELATED:
Associated Press:
Pirates' Burnett struck in right eye by batted ball … BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) — Pirates pitcher A.J. Burnett was struck in the face by a batted ball on Wednesday, and will fly from the team's spring training complex to Pittsburgh to have his right eye examined by team doctors.
Discussion: ESPN
Tom Singer / MLB.com:
Former O's righty Cabrera in camp with Bucs
Discussion: HardballTalk
Fox Sports:
Sources: MLB playoffs expanding in 2012  —  Baseball's playoffs will expand from eight to 10 teams, starting this season, according to major-league sources.  —  The sport's new collective-barganing agreement stipulated that additional wild cards would be added in each league no later than 2013.
Phil Rogers / Chicago Tribune:
Your Morning Phil: Beras, Soler, Braun  —  Talking baseball: 1.  Uh, oh.  This could get ugly.  One source in the Dominican Republic has reported that The Next Big Thing in Latin America, outfielder Jairo Beras, has agreed to a $4.5 million deal with the Texas Rangers, and the signing raises questions.
Discussion: Yahoo! Sports
RELATED:
Fox Sports:   Braun should have quit while ahead
Aaron Gleeman / HardballTalk:
Wisconsin man who collected Ryan Braun's urine sample issues statement “to set the record straight”
Discussion: Baseball Nation
Matt Gelb / Philly.com:
Howard sidelined indefinitely  —  CLEARWATER, Fla. — Ryan Howard has indeed suffered a setback in his recovery from Achilles surgery and will be sidelined indefinitely following a procedure to clean an infection from his original wound.  —  Foot specialist Mark Myerson performed a …
RELATED:
Bob Brookover / Boston Herald:
Phillies awaiting word on Ryan Howard's Achilles injury
Discussion: Phillies Nation
Adam McCalvy / MLB.com:
Crew, Axford to continue work on multiyear deal  —  Both sides say they'd like contract extension; talks cordial  —  PHOENIX — Brewers closer John Axford was quick to explain why he's the only member of the 40-man roster yet to sign a 2012 contract.  —  “Just like last year, I'm holding out for billions,” he joked.
Discussion: MLB Daily Dish and Al's Ramblings
Anthony McCarron / NY Daily News:
Bobby Valentine mocks Derek Jeter's ‘flip’ play, revels over how Jason Varitek ‘beat up’ Alex Rodriguez in 2004  —  New Red Sox manager continues to tweak the Yankees  —  Jason Varitek and Alex Rodriguez duke it out during 2004 game at Fenway Park.  —  It took Bobby Valentine 10 years to get back into a major league dugout.
Discussion: the joy of sox
RELATED:
Alex Speier / WEEI:
JASON VARITEK AND THE TRADE THAT CHANGED A FRANCHISE
Jon Krawczynski / Associated Press:
Valentine already tweaking the Yankees
Discussion: Boston Globe and CBS New York
Gordon Edes / ESPN:
Valentine lauds Varitek for going after A-Rod
Susan Slusser / Oakland Athletics:
Miguel Tejada says he wants to return to the A's  —  Late last night, I spoke to Miguel Tejada, who won an MVP while playing shortstop for the A's in 2002, and Tejada told me his fondest desire is to return to the team that gave him his first start.  —  “I would love it,” Tejada told me by phone from Florida.
Ben Badler / Baseball America:
Rangers' Surprise Signing Draws Industry Scrutiny  —  The Rangers reportedly have agreed to a deal with one of the top prospects in the Dominican Republic, but the deal has set off confusion and outrage through the industry because most organizations—including Major League Baseball …
Discussion: Lone Star Ball and MLB Rumors
Doug Glanville / ESPN:
Appreciating Chipper Jones  —  Longtime Atlanta Brave has been killing opponents softly for a long, long time  —  Baseball locker rooms are full of debates.  Players often debate the best slider in the game, the best infield grass, maybe even the best postgame spread.
Discussion: MLB
Associated Press:
Marlins RF prefers Giancarlo Stanton  —  JUPITER, Fla. — His mom calls him Cruz.  Teammates call him Bigfoot.  Most baseball fans know him as Mike Stanton, precocious slugger for the Miami Marlins, but his first name is actually Giancarlo.  —  “The man of a million names,” Stanton said.
Discussion: Fish Stripes and Deadspin
Adam Kilgore / Washington Post:
Davey Johnson's history lesson  —  The other day, Davey Johnson wanted to share a batting tip he had learned from an old player.  Standing around the batting cage, he had a conversation with Danny Espinosa and Ian Desmond about the importance of timing.  Johnson's story, just in case, needed a brief prologue about the source.
Discussion: HardballTalk
Dgoold / derrickgoold:
The Promised Pujols Cartoon … This entry was posted in baseball, cartoons, journal, journalism, project 365+ by dgoold.  Bookmark the permalink.
 
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 More News: 
Bill Chastain / MLB.com:
Final night of '11 still resonates with Rays
Mark Saxon / ESPN:
Mark Trumbo cleared for activity
Bob Harkins / HardballTalk:
Can Jesus Montero catch? He's motivated to show he can
Greg Johns / MLB.com:
Gutierrez suffers right pec injury
Discussion: HardballTalk
Paul Hoynes / Plain Dealer:
Albert Belle enjoys a laugh-filled reunion with the Cleveland Indians
Discussion: NESN.com, HardballTalk and Deadspin
 Earlier Picks: 
Danny Knobler / CBSSports.com:
Nationals camp report: Harper decision might make all the difference
Discussion: baseballmusings.com
Bill Ladson / MLB.com:
Prospect Solis to have Tommy John surgery
Brian Erni / MetsBlog.com:
Recap: Terry Collins conference call with bloggers
George A. King III / New York Post:
Joba throws off full mound at Yankees camp
Ben Nicholson-Smith / MLB Rumors:
Service Time Considerations For Top Prospects
Discussion: Red Reporter
 

 
From WeSmirch:

Rebecca Ford / Hollywood Reporter:
Bryan Singer's Accuser Says He Was ‘Like a Piece of Meat to These People’

TMZ.com:
YOU CAN KISS YOUR PENIS GOODBYE ... FOR GOOD

Ben Brantley / New York Times:
James Franco and Chris O'Dowd in ‘Of Mice and Men’

 
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