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4:20 AM ET, March 17, 2017


 Top News: 
Kyle Glaser / Baseball America:
Dominicans Use Defense, Pitching And Power To Push Venezuela To Brink In WBC  —  SAN DIEGO—The Dominican Republic is a team defined by its big bombers, an All-Star-driven juggernaut expected to pummel opponents into submission.  —  On Thursday night, the Dominicans showed they can win …
Discussion: Yahoo Sports and Bleed Cubbie Blue
Matt Young / Houston Chronicle:
Astros' Alex Bregman slams Rangers' Rougned Odor for WBC bat flip  —  The Astros-Rangers rivalry is starting a little early this season.  —  First, Astros fans were upset that Venezuela manager Omar Vizquel had most-hated Texas Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor in the starting lineup instead …
John Manuel / Baseball America:
2017 MLB Mock Draft: The First Ten  —  Predicting the first round of the 2017 draft may prove a fool's errand.  —  Not because the draft is unpredictable and teams have less consensus among the top picks than ever with more looks and more information available, though both of those are true.
Tampa Bay Times:
Kevin Kiermaier deal is relief for him and safe risk worth taking for Rays  —  PORT CHARLOTTE — For a guy who said he couldn't talk much about the six-year, $53.5 million contract extension he will soon sign, Kevin Kiermaier shared how thankful, humbled and blessed he felt.
Shi Davidi /
Scott Boras rips Blue Jays over handling of Sanchez salary  —  TORONTO - The Toronto Blue Jays have renewed the 2017 contract of all-star right-hander Aaron Sanchez for the major-league minimum of $535,000, a decision influential agent Scott Boras described as the “harshest treatment any team could provide a player.”
Jon Heyman / FanRag Sports:
11 biggest questions remaining in spring training  —  MESA, Ariz. - Yes, there are things going on in spring training.  Real things.  The thrill-an-inning WBC and Mets “prospect” Tim Tebow and his stalker (who's ever heard of a stalker for a minor leaguer?) are getting all the attention.
Erik Boland / Newsday:
Yankees' Greg Bird homers off Clay Buchholz to continue hot streak … TAMPA, Fla. — Chris Carter was supposed to start Wednesday night at first base but was a late scratch because of an illness.  Greg Bird, scheduled to have the night off, was pressed into duty and homered in his first at-bat.
Discussion: Pinstripe Alley
Jordan Bastian /
Indians outfielder goes 1-for-3 with double, three RBIs in debut  —  GOODYEAR, Ariz. — The Indians have done their best to simulate a game environment for Michael Brantley throughout the left fielder's comeback this spring.  On Wednesday afternoon, Jason Kipnis helped out …
Pete Grathoff / Kansas City Star:
Salvador Perez's knee OK but elbow is hurt; says he'll be ready for Royals opener  —  SURPRISE, ARIZ.  —  There was a twist in the Salvador Perez injury story.  —  Four days after freak play during a World Baseball Classic game in Jalisco, Mexico, left Perez gingerly limping from the field …
Discussion: Royals Review
Jared Diamond / Wall Street Journal:
The Gurus Behind Baseball's Search for the Perfect Swing  —  Independent hitting instructors have helped players such as Justin Turner and Josh Donaldson become feared hitters  —  Doug Latta teaches hitting at a nondescript industrial park in Northridge, Calif., in a facility that consists of just two batting cages.
Baseball Prospectus:
Tales of Cubs Fans, Extroverts, and 1987 Topps  —  Young Anthony Belker Gets Ready for Cubs Baseball  —  Anthony Bryant Belker was born on November 8th, 2022, five days after the Cubs won their third World Series in six years.  His parents, and thus he too, were at Game Five at Wrigley …
Discussion: The Good Phight
Danny Knobler /
Dutch on brink of semis after routing Cuba  —  TOKYO — Stacked with Major League stars, the Netherlands were a team to watch heading into the World Baseball Classic.  Now the Dutch are on the verge of a return trip to the semifinals, and their lineup is clicking.
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 More News: 
Steve Adams / MLB Trade Rumors:
Rays To Release Dana Eveland
Discussion: DRaysBay
Tampa Bay Times:
20 thoughts on the Rays after 30 days of spring
Discussion: DRaysBay
Marc Carig / Newsday:
Mets' Jacob deGrom turns up the heat with effortless form
Matt Gelb /
Phillies' Tommy Joseph plunked on hand; it's not broken
Discussion: Phillies Nation
Jennifer Rainwater / Fox Sports:
New York Mets' Noah Syndergaard's Mysterious Illness Revealed
Discussion: Amazin' Avenue
 Earlier Picks: 
Dan Martin / New York Post:
Gleyber Torres isn't making a demotion easy on Yankees
Derrick Goold / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Schafer's two-way attempt hits a snag — he's set for elbow surgery
Discussion: MLB Trade Rumors

From WeSmirch:

Patricia Garcia / Vogue:
Nicole Kidman on Big Little Lies, Those Therapy Scenes, and Coming Home Covered in Bruises
Emmy Rossum — Robbed of Jewelry

George Clooney Opens Up About Amal's Pregnancy: ‘She Is Amazing’

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