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7:40 AM ET, March 19, 2017

Ballbug

 Top News: 
Mike Mazzeo / New York Daily News:
CC Sabathia feels ‘good’ but admits he still isn't ready for season  —  TAMPA — CC Sabathia lowered his spring training ERA from 13.50 to 9.45 on Saturday.  —  Better.  —  But still not great.  —  Facing the Orioles' B squad, Sabathia gave up three runs on three hits in four innings …
RELATED:
Erik Boland / Newsday:
Masahiro Tanaka excels again as Yankees no-hit Tigers … LAKELAND, Fla. — Spring training or not, Masahiro Tanaka's numbers are fairly ridiculous.  —  The righthander followed a perfect four-inning outing last Saturday against the Tigers with a 4 1⁄3-inning start Friday against Detroit …
Mike Mazzeo / New York Daily News:
Jordan Montgomery, who finishes off a spring no-hitter, is making the Yankees ‘curious’  —  LAKELAND, Fla. - After finishing off the Yankees' three-pitcher combined exhibition no-hitter on Friday with four perfect innings, Jordan Montgomery has put himself in contention to perhaps make an outside run at a starter job in the Bronx.
Jesse Sanchez / MLB.com:
Saturday night survive: USA-DR win or else!  —  SAN DIEGO — Two teams, two countries, one game and the winner takes all.  The bragging rights will last at least four years.  —  Familiar chats of “USA!  USA!  USA!” will provide the soundtrack to a sold-out Petco Park.  The speedy and rhythmic chorus of “Dominicana!
RELATED:
Kyle Glaser / Baseball America:
Puerto Rico Holds Off U.S., Clinches WBC Semifinals Spot - 2017 World Baseball Classic  —  SAN DIEGO—Puerto Rico faced a pretty straightforward scenario Friday night: Win, and it'd be on the way to the World Baseball Classic semifinals.  —  With that situation prominent in their heads …
Discussion: The Crawfish Boxes and DRaysBay
Kyle Glaser / Baseball America:
Dominicans Use Defense, Pitching And Power To Push Venezuela To Brink In WBC
James Wagner / New York Times:
Zack Wheeler, Mets' Big Question Mark, Provides Some Answers  —  WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The biggest question on the Mets' pitching staff took the mound Thursday afternoon for the second time this spring.  In his second outing, after sitting out for two seasons, Zack Wheeler allowed two runs on three hits in two and a third innings.
Discussion: Amazin' Avenue
Tampa Bay Times:
Alex Cobb bracing himself for possible farewell season with Rays  —  PORT CHARLOTTE — Is there anything wrong with thinking about saying goodbye when you're not 100 percent sure you're leaving?  —  Alex Cobb is no dumb blond.  He's savvy enough to know the history …
Discussion: MLB Trade Rumors
Brian MacPherson / providencejournal.com:
Farrell: MLB to crack down on DL manipulation  —  FORT MYERS, Fla. — As welcome as was the shift to a 10-day minimum for stints on the disabled list, the loophole it opened was cavernous.  A team with a depleted bullpen could stash a starting pitcher on the disabled list with a phantom injury …
Discussion: NBCSports.com
Evan Grant / Dallas Morning News:
Chi Chi Gonzalez has a partial tear in his ulnar collateral ligament  —  SURPRISE, Ariz. — Rangers pitching prospect Chi Chi Gonzalez will likely miss at least the first half of the season.  —  And that's the best-case scenario.  —  Gonzalez was diagnosed Friday with a partial tear …
Kristie Ackert / New York Daily News:
Wilmer Flores crying over lack of set role with Mets  —  PORT ST. LUCIE — This isn't exactly what Wilmer Flores wanted.  The Mets' infielder, who broke into tears at the thought of being traded out of the organization two years ago, is not comfortable with his role, or more precisely, his lack of a consistent role.
Kristie Ackert / New York Daily News:
Mets' Steven Matz, who's focused on holding runners, finally picks one off  —  PORT ST. LUCIE — Steven Matz just reacted.  The lefthander allowed 20 stolen bases last season, contributing to the Mets' major-league-leading 135 bases stolen.  So he focused on trying to hold runners better this spring.
Ben Frederickson / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Mozeliak says Cardinals ‘open for business’ with Molina  —  St. Louis Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak watches batting practice during St. Louis Cardinals spring training on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017, at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Fla. Photo by Chris Lee, clee@post-dispatch.com
 
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 More News: 
Kate Hairopoulos / Dallas Morning News:
Cowboys DL Tyrone Crawford on his shoulder, defensive turnover, Tony Romo: ‘I just trust we have a plan’
Discussion: FanRag Sports and ProFootballTalk
ESPN:
Michael Pineda learned English the hard way
Discussion: FanRag Sports
Eduardo A. Encina / Baltimore Sun:
Orioles release right-hander Logan Ondrusek
Discussion: FanRag Sports
 Earlier Picks: 
Jeff Wilson / Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
Profar, relievers among stars of Rangers' spring training
ESPN:
The full story on LB Derrick Johnson & FB Anthony Sherman's reworked contracts: The Chiefs …
Discussion: FanRag Sports and ProFootballTalk
Roger Mooney / Tampa Bay Times:
Spin doctors: Pinpointing the reasons for a pitcher's success
Fox Sports:
Surge at the 6-spot could signal end of the glove-first SS
Discussion: baseballmusings.com
Michael Baumann / The Ringer:
The Quest to Determine the Second Best Pitcher in Baseball
Discussion: Bless You Boys
 

 
From WeSmirch:

Ryan Lizza / New Yorker:
Anthony Scaramucci Called Me to Unload About White House Leakers, Reince Priebus, and Steve Bannon

TMZ.com:
Justin Bieber Accidentally Drives Into, Injures Photographer

Matt Hendrickson / Billboard:
Miranda Lambert on Why She Won't ‘Take Pain for Granted’ & Refusing to Write Political Songs

 
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