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11:55 AM ET, February 16, 2017

Ballbug

 Top News: 
Ken Rosenthal / Fox Sports:
The Royals aren't giving up on the 2017 season — or their free agents  —  It sort of goes without saying, considering the Royals' recent history, but the competitive DNA of this organization has become even more apparent since the tragic death of right-hander Yordano Ventura on Jan. 22.
RELATED:
Mark SaxonESPN / ESPN:
Cardinals prospect Alex Reyes to have surgery, out for season  —  JUPITER, Fla. — St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Alex Reyes will undergo season-ending elbow surgery, general manager John Mozeliak announced Wednesday.  —  Reyes, the team's top prospect and a candidate to break camp with a rotation spot …
Derrick Goold / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Reyes headed for Tommy John surgery, will miss 2017 season
Derrick Goold / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Cardinals braced for the worst after Reyes' elbow flares up
Kristie Ackert / New York Daily News:
Matt Harvey couldn't feel his hand for three days after surgery
Discussion: Fox Sports
Mark Gonzales / Chicago Tribune:
Cubs' Kyle Schwarber officially cleared to catch  —  Cubs' Kyle Schwarber on his knee, catching and batting leadoff at spring training on Feb. 14, 2017.  (Mark Gonzales/Chicago Tribune)  —  Chicago Tribune  —  Kyle Schwarber will get his wish, as the Chicago Cubs announced Wednesday morning …
RELATED:
Mark Gonzales / Chicago Tribune:
Cubs will use restraint to ease Kyle Schwarber into limited catching role
Jeff Wilson / Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
Rangers to announce Mike Napoli deal on Thursday  —  SURPRISE, ARIZ.  —  The Texas Rangers have planned a Thursday morning news conference to announce a one-year, $8.5 million contract with first baseman Mike Napoli.  —  Napoli flew to Arizona on Wednesday to undergo a physical exam, which he passed.
Discussion: Let's Go Tribe
Rick Maese / Washington Post:
Trump will not fill out an NCAA tournament bracket  —  It appears that President Trump is passing on March Madness.  He will not continue his predecessor's annual tradition of filling out an NCAA tournament bracket on ESPN.  —  The network reached out to Trump's staff and invited the president …
Tampa Bay Times:
A Rays deal with Matt Wieters makes sense — at the right price  —  PORT CHARLOTTE — There are several things we know about the Rays' interest in Matt Wieters, the former Orioles star catcher who surprisingly — check mlbtraderumors.com — yep, remains unsigned as camps open:
Discussion: MLB Trade Rumors
Lee Judge / Kansas City Star:
The Tao of Wade Davis  —  I've got a long list of stuff I'd like to write about this season and this morning but I was trying to pick a subject when I read Rustin Dodd's piece about the Royals bullpen and how his former teammates are going to miss Wade Davis.
ESPN:
Yankees owner envisions expanded role for A-Rod, noncommittal on future of manager Joe Girardi  —  TAMPA, Fla. — Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner can envision Alex Rodriguez's role with the team growing over time.  —  “Absolutely,” Steinbrenner said Wednesday afternoon …
Discussion: Pinstripe Alley and Yahoo Sports
Kristie Ackert / New York Daily News:
Mets' Neil Walker talks about accepting qualifying offer, desire for long-term deal  —  PORT ST. LUCIE - Before he made the decision to have surgery last summer, Neil Walker got some assurances from the Mets.  Sandy Alderson did not guarantee the second baseman, who was facing free agency for the first time …
Tatiana Siegel / Hollywood Reporter:
New England Patriots Super Bowl Hero's Life Story to Be Told in Biopic (Exclusive)  —  Malcolm Butler's journey — from running the fryolator at Popeyes to becoming the team's star cornerback — will be heading to the big screen in ‘The Secondary’ with the help of Daniel Levin …
Ariel Helwani / MMA Fighting:
Georges St-Pierre and UFC agree to terms, close to finalizing new contract  —  At long last, Georges St-Pierre appears headed back to the UFC.  —  St-Pierre, the former UFC welterweight champion, is on the verge of signing a new multi-fight contract with the promotion, multiple sources confirmed with MMA Fighting.
David Lang / WPLG-TV:
Report: Jeffrey Loria being considered as U.S. Ambassador to France  —  Marlins owner's name being mentioned  —  MIAMI - Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria is reportedly being considered as the U.S. ambassador to France.  —  According to the New York Post, President Donald Trump's Chief …
Erik Boland / Newsday:
Yankees' Michael Pineda focused on finishing outs and innings  —  TAMPA, Fla. — CC Sabathia has experience in such matters.  —  And so when the veteran lefthander, having won a Cy Young award in 2007 with Cleveland, used that award and the eternally inconsistent Michael Pineda in the same sentence Tuesday, it raised a few eyebrows.
 
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 More News: 
WCTX-TV:
New AAA study reveals millennials to be worst behaved drivers
Dan Steinberg / Washington Post:
Chris Cooley speculates on-air about Scot McCloughan: ‘Is he drinking?’
Discussion: KNBR-AM and ProFootballTalk
Jeff Todd / MLB Trade Rumors:
Sean Rodriguez Likely To Miss 2017 Season After Shoulder Surgery
 Earlier Picks: 
Anthony Fenech / Detroit Free Press:
Detroit Tigers allow Drew VerHagen to go back to being a starter
Discussion: Detroit News and Bless You Boys
Evan Grant / Dallas Morning News:
Why money might not be the only reason Texas could let Yu Darvish walk after 2017
Marc Raimondi / MMA Fighting:
Brock Lesnar notifies UFC of his retirement from MMA
Discussion: FanRag Sports, The Big Lead and TMZ.com
 

 
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The Producers of HBO's Confederate Respond to the Backlash and Explain Why They Wanted to Tell This Story

 
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