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9:15 AM ET, March 20, 2017

Ballbug

 Top News: 
Bob Nightengale / USA Today:
USA finds its identity at World Baseball Classic: ‘This is our team’  —  LOS ANGELES - They didn't stop off to bleach their hair platinum blond Sunday afternoon, pull over to grab plantains for pre-game introductions, or do jumping jacks on the team bus.  —  It was a rather tranquil three-hour bus ride …
Discussion: MLB.com, Purple Row, Fish Stripes and Forbes
RELATED:
Tampa Bay Times:
Rays journal: Archer disappointed to be told not to join Team USA in WBC  —  PORT CHARLOTTE — RHP Chris Archer chose his words carefully, but it was clear he was disappointed to wake up early Sunday to a text telling him not to take his scheduled flight to Los Angeles because he wouldn't be pitching …
Jesse Sanchez / MLB.com:
Saturday night survive: USA-DR win or else!
Kyle Glaser / Baseball America:
Puerto Rico Holds Off U.S., Clinches WBC Semifinals Spot - 2017 World Baseball Classic
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
Mike Mazzeo / New York Daily News:
Jordan Montgomery, who finishes off a spring no-hitter, is making the Yankees ‘curious’
Connor Byrne / MLB Trade Rumors:
Cody Anderson To Undergo Tommy John Surgery  —  Indians right-hander Cody Anderson will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the 2017 season, the team announced (Twitter link via Jordan Bastian of MLB.com).  Anderson made the decision after a second opinion confirmed both a sprain …
Derrick Goold / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Cardinals starting pitchers ‘have to be horses’  —  Photo by Chris Lee, clee@post-dispatch.com  —  LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla.  • Although he will be 18 months and one rebuilt ligament removed from the last major-league pitch he threw in anger, Lance Lynn has no interest in being coddled …
Discussion: baseballmusings.com
Detroit Free Press:
Next Slide  —  SARASOTA, Fla. - A day later, the Detroit Tigers are without a definitive answer on J.D. Martinez.  —  Though inside the visiting manager's clubhouse Sunday afternoon at Ed Smith Stadium, the outlook for the rightfielder's immediate playing future did not seem bright.
Discussion: Bless You Boys
Paul Skrbina / Chicago Tribune:
Derek Holland on Kyle Schwarber's home run: ‘Hats off to Schreiber’  —  White Sox pitcher Derek Holland reacts after allowing a home run to Kyle Schwarber during the team's 7-3 exhibition loss to the Cubs on Friday, March 17, 2017.  (Paul Skrbina/Chicago Tribune)  —  Chicago Tribune
Discussion: Fox Sports
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: Yahoo Sports and NBCSports.com
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
Vic Carucci / The Buffalo News:
Bills' Hauschka found Seahawks' decision to let him go ‘an interesting move’  —  Stephen Hauschka doesn't feel comfortable discussing the subject.  As with most kickers, it's always best to try to keep negative occurrences as far in the past as possible.  —  This one still stings, though.  A lot.
Discussion: ProFootballTalk and FanRag Sports
Observer-Reporter:
No surprises here.  Roethlisberger leaning toward a return to Steelers  —  To the surprise of no one who has spent any amount of time at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is “leaning towards” returning to play in 2017.  —  Roethlisberger spoke …
Discussion: FanRag Sports and ProFootballTalk
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.
Discussion: Yahoo Sports
 
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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
James Wagner / New York Times:
Zack Wheeler, Mets' Big Question Mark, Provides Some Answers
Discussion: Amazin' Avenue
Kristie Ackert / New York Daily News:
Wilmer Flores crying over lack of set role with Mets
Evan Grant / Dallas Morning News:
Chi Chi Gonzalez has a partial tear in his ulnar collateral ligament
 Earlier Picks: 
Ben Frederickson / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Mozeliak says Cardinals ‘open for business’ with Molina
ESPN:
Michael Pineda learned English the hard way
Discussion: FanRag Sports
 

 
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