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8:10 PM ET, March 1, 2012

Ballbug

 Top News: 
Philly.com:
Inside the Phillies: Manuel is no fan of baseball's latest playoff change  —  CLEARWATER, Fla. - In Charlie Manuel's perfect baseball universe, the best teams in each league at the end of the regular season would meet in the World Series every year.  —  That's the way it was when the Phillies manager …
Discussion: HardballTalk
RELATED:
Ronald Blum / Globe and Mail:
No hard deadline for MLB expanded playoffs  —  Negotiators for baseball players and owners say there is no set deadline for an agreement to expand the playoffs to 10 teams this season.  —  The sides have said for weeks a deal is likely.  When players and owners signed their agreement …
Discussion: Baseball Nation and Yahoo! Sports
Fox Sports:
Expanded playoffs are good for baseball
Discussion: Pinstripe Alley
Associated Press:
Pirates' pitcher A.J. Burnett to undergo surgery for orbital fracture … PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pirates pitcher A.J. Burnett will undergo surgery on Friday to repair a fractured right orbital bone.  —  The right-hander injured himself on Wednesday at the team's spring training facilities in Bradenton …
Chad Jennings / The LoHud Yankees Blog:
Hal: “189 is a real number, and we're going to be shooting for it”  —  Ever since the new CBA was announced, there has been plenty written and said about the Yankees desire to get below the $189-million luxury tax threshold in two years.  This morning, Hal Steinbrenner confirmed all of those stories …
Ben Badler / Baseball America:
Mariners Sign Lefty Alexandre Roy From France  —  The Mariners have been one of the leaders in signing European prospects, and now they can add a French lefthander to their collection of international farmhands with their recent signing of Alexandre Roy, a 16-year-old from Rouen, France.
Discussion: Lookout Landing and MLB Rumors
Fox Sports:
Can Dodgers' Kershaw win 300 games?  —  SURPRISE, ARIZ.  —  The 2002 Braves were the most recent team with the rarest of attributes — two eventual 300-game winners on the same pitching staff: Greg Maddux, who reached the milestone two years later, and Tom Glavine, who followed in 2007.
Discussion: 6-4-2
Associated Press:
Cards sign Molina to five-year, $75M extension  —  JUPITER, Fla. — The St. Louis Cardinals have agreed to a five-year, $75 million contract with four-time Gold Glove catcher Yadier Molina.  —  The team announced the details Thursday.  The contract begins next year and will keep Molina in St. Louis through the 2017 season.
Discussion: baseballmusings.com
Darron Cummings / San Francisco Chronicle:
Looks like a one-year contract for Buster Posey  —  I just had a brief chat with Buster Posey's agent, Jeff Berry, who told me he has not heard from the Giants about a 2012 contract for Buster Posey, and both sides have indicated to me they are not expecting discussions about a multiyear deal.
Discussion: MLB Daily Dish
Scott Lauber / Boston Herald:
Aceves, Bard start strong for Sox  —  FORT MYERS — Quick update from Hammond Stadium, where the Red Sox [team stats] and Twins are playing a B-game:  —  Alfredo Aceves, competing for a spot in the starting rotation, allowed one run on two hits in the first inning and finished strong with a strikeout of Brian Dinkelman.
Discussion: Boston Globe and Over the Monster
Carson Cistulli / FanGraphs Baseball:
Broadcaster Rankings (TV): #10 - #1  —  Beginning in late November, we've spent much of the offseason asking readers to rate the television broadcast teams (on a scale of 1-5 for charisma, analysis, and then overall) for all 30 major-league clubs — with the intention, ultimately …
Todd Zolecki / MLB.com:
Victorino looking forward to a new deal  —  Veteran center fielder hoping for five-year contract with Phils  —  CLEARWATER, Fla. — Shane Victorino walked across Mike Schmidt Field on Thursday morning at Carpenter Complex, turning his head occasionally to chirp at Cole Hamels, who had just finished running on another field.
Discussion: MLB Rumors
Bob Nightengale / USA Today:
Rangers look to put the memory of Game 6 to rest  —  SURPRISE, Ariz. - Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington looks around the clubhouse, stares into his players' eyes, and his mind starts spinning.  —  This is the first time they've been together since that dreary plane ride home in October.
Discussion: HardballTalk
 
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 More News: 
Andy McCullough / New Jersey Online:
Mets pitcher Dillon Gee embraces Pilates to gain an edge
Discussion: MetsBlog.com and HardballTalk
Sam Mellinger / Kansas City Star:
Perez's signing may help lock up Hosmer, too
Discussion: Royals Review and MLB Rumors
Jane Lee / MLB.com:
Cespedes expected to make arrival soon
Discussion: HardballTalk
ESPN:
A shift in the players' view of PEDs
Discussion: HardballTalk and Baseball Nation
Bob Klapisch / NorthJersey.com:
George Steinbrenner wouldn't know these Yankees
Discussion: HardballTalk
 Earlier Picks: 
Mike DiGiovanna / Los Angeles Times:
Angels slugger Kendrys Morales taking steps forward
Discussion: HardballTalk
Nathan Rode / Baseball America:
Giolito Hits Triple Digits
Amanda Comak / Washington Times:
Minor league right-hander Cortes not in camp with Nationals
Discussion: MLB Daily Dish
Jeff Passan / Yahoo! Sports:
Rangers' signing of Dominican phenom Jairo Beras is investigated by MLB over age discrepancy
 

 
From WeSmirch:

Michael Ausiello / TVLine:
Neil Patrick Harris Officially Joins AHS: Freak Show — and David Burtka, His Husband, Is Coming With!

Tim Cook / Businessweek:
Tim Cook Speaks Up

Michelle Tauber / People.com:
Jennifer Lawrence Didn't Understand Chris Martin's Bond with Gwyneth Paltrow: Source

 
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