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4:50 PM ET, May 19, 2017

Ballbug

 Top News: 
Jason Munz / Hattiesburg American:
Anthony Alford promoted to MLB by Blue Jays  —  Former Petal star Anthony Alford was called up to the big leagues by the Toronto Blue Jays Friday.  —  The 22-year-old outfielder was hitting .325 with three home runs and 11 runs batted in 33 games with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, Toronto's AA affiliate.
RELATED:
Andrew Schmid / Fox Sports:
Toronto Blue Jays Suspend Kevin Pillar for Two Games  —  The Toronto Blue Jays have suspended Kevin Pillar for two games after the center fielder used a homophobic slur.  —  According to Shi Davidi of Sporstnet.ca, the Toronto Blue Jays have suspended Kevin Pillar for two games.
ESPN:
Jays' Darrell Ceciliani injures shoulder, expected to go on DL  —  Blue Jays center fielder Darrell Ceciliani, recalled from Triple-A Buffalo on Tuesday, had a run-scoring double in the first inning and a two-run homer in the third before leaving Toronto's 9-0 win over Atlanta with a left shoulder injury on Thursday.
Discussion: Baseball Prospectus
ESPN:   Olney: The stupidity of retaliation
ESPN:   Braves' Julio Teheran hits Jose Bautista in thigh day after bat flip
Richard W. Rodriguez / Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Tensions high, suspension levied in Braves-Blue Jays series
Discussion: Bluebird Banter
Dave Sheinin / Washington Post:
The NL East is so bad, it's hard to tell if the Nationals are any good  —  The Atlanta Braves have already endured two six-game losing streaks this season, plus a separate five-gamer.  They haven't spent a single day above .500 and haven't been within five games of first place since the third week of April.
Discussion: Federal Baseball
RELATED:
Jorge L. Ortiz / USA Today:
5 MLB stats we believe in: Early 2017 numbers that can be sustained  —  The one-quarter mark of the season, by now reached by a majority of clubs, traditionally serves as the first true barometer of team and individual performance.  —  No longer is the “small sample” caveat applied …
ESPN:
Who would say no? Dealing the Nationals a closer
Discussion: Royals Review
Colleen Kane / Chicago Tribune:
Luis Robert watch kicks into high gear as Cuban outfielder eligible to sign Saturday  —  Luis Robert bats during a 2016 game in Pomona, New York.  —  Chicago Tribune  —  White Sox and Cardinals fans will be on high alert this weekend as Cuban outfielder Luis Robert becomes eligible to sign with a major-league organization.
RELATED:
Colleen Kane / Chicago Tribune:
Road has been a (7-home run) blast for White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu
Discussion: MLB on Yahoo! Sports
Detroit Free Press:
Tigers' opponents preview: Rangers ride into Comerica Park on nine-game winning streak  —  Series: Texas at Tigers for three games, Friday-Sunday night.  —  TV/radio: Friday — 7:10 on Fox Sports Detroit, Saturday — 7:15 on Fox (Channel 2 in Detroit), Sunday — 8:05 on ESPN.
Discussion: Bless You Boys
RELATED:
Jon Machota / Dallas Morning News:
Critical winning streak makes baseball fun again for the Rangers
Stefan Stevenson / Fort Worth Star-Telegram:   Rangers reaction wonders if they'll ever lose again in Arlington
Detroit Free Press:
Next Slide  —  Victor Martinez is expecting another addition to his family.
Discussion: Bless You Boys
Associated Press:
Turner injures right hamstring, Dodgers beat Marlins 7-2  —  Justin Turner left in the seventh inning after injuring his right hamstring, curbing the celebration for the Los Angeles Dodgers after a 7-2 victory over the Miami Marlins on Thursday night.  —  Turner was hurt running from second base to home in the seventh inning.
RELATED:
Dylan Hernandez / Los Angeles Times:
Column Alex Wood has adapted well to an ever-changing Dodgers pitching staff
Discussion: True Blue LA
Zach Buchanan / Cincinnati.com:
BAR Mailbag: Who's to blame for the pitching?  —  114 Shares  —  Amir Garrett lasted just four innings and the Reds were swept in Chicago, losing 9-5 to the Cubs on Thursday.  The Enquirer/C. Trent Rosecrans … Happy Friday.  Let's get to your Reds questions. … I don't think it's a coaching staff issue.
RELATED:
Cincinnati.com:
Amir Garrett struggles in his return as Cincinnati Reds fall to Chicago Cubs
Discussion: Red Reporter
Jeff Todd / MLB Trade Rumors:
Anthony DeSclafani Cleared To Resume Throwing  —  Reds righty Anthony DeSclafani has been cleared to resume showing, according to John Fay of WCPO.com (via Twitter).  DeSclafani has been out all year while resting a sprained ulnar collateral ligament.  —  While the initial hope was that DeSclafani …
USA Today:
Orioles' Adam Jones on racist slurs at Fenway: 'It's point-blank disgusting'  —  Baltimore Orioles center fielder Adam Jones sent a message to those who have doubted that he was the target of racial slurs earlier this month at Fenway Park.  —  “This is not a sports debate show,” Jones wrote in The Players' Tribune on Friday.
Discussion: The Players' Tribune and SI.com
Mike Mazzeo / New York Daily News:
Yankees baffled by Danny Duffy, fall to Royals in series finale  —  A-Rod may have been in the broadcast booth, but the Yankees could've used him in the batter's box on Thursday.  Maybe he could've hit Danny Duffy.  No one else seemed to be able to.  Duffy was dominant …
RELATED:
Blair Kerkhoff / Kansas City Star:   Danny Duffy strikes out 10 Yankees in dealing Royals a 5-1 victory
Steve Adams / MLB Trade Rumors:
Mets Notes: Injuries, Granderson, Rosario  —  ESPN's Jerry Crasnick takes a deep look at the Mets' medical procedures and protocols in the wake of their injury woes.  Crasnick notes on Twitter that he spent two weeks and conducted nearly 20 interviews for the piece, and the thoroughness …
Discussion: Newsday, New York Post and ESPN
Tampa Bay Times:
Monken: DeSean Jackson took the money and better be great  —  If you think the Bucs will pressure DeSean Jackson to live up to his contract, well, you're right on the money.  —  At least that's the message from offensive coordinator/receivers coach Todd Monken to the 30-year-old Jackson …
ESPN:
The bullpen revolution has not been televised  —  There comes a point each spring when the buds of a bullpen revolution seem to be everywhere.  One team's closer competition between two great relievers inspires a managerial pledge to “play matchups” and get both pitchers saves.
Ray Glier / VICE Sports:
The New Tommy John Surgery That Could Change Baseball  —  Dr. Jeff Dugas has scrubbed in for about 2,000 surgeries on the ulnar collateral ligament of the elbow.  He reconstructs the injured ligament with a tendon grafted from the patient's forearm or leg.  All sorts of athletes come …
Discussion: DRaysBay
Paul Hoynes / Plain Dealer:
Cleveland Indians' starting rotation isn't just bad, it's perplexingly bad  —  Right-hander Josh Tomlin waits on the mound in the third inning Wednesday as Indians manager Terry Francona approaches to remove him from the game.  Tomlin allowed six runs on seven hits in 2 1/3 innings in a 7-4 loss to Tampa Bay at Progressive Field.
Discussion: Let's Go Tribe
 
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 More News: 
Paul Skrbina / Chicago Tribune:
Weather permitting, Eddie Butler set to make his 2nd Cubs start
Discussion: Chicago Tribune
Associated Press:
Under Armour to make MLB uniforms in 2019, a year early
Jon Heyman / FanRag Sports:
Inside Baseball NL Notes | How Stanton's contract impacts Marlins
Discussion: Bucs Dugout and MLB Trade Rumors
Bill Madden / New York Daily News:
Only thing Mets and Yankees have in common is top division rivals are weaker than expected
Robert O'Connell / The Atlantic:
Better, Slower, Safer Pitching
Max Gelman / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Series preview: Giants at Cardinals
 Earlier Picks: 
Derrick Goold / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Cardinals notes: Wacha is taking an extra day off between starts
Colleen Kane / Chicago Tribune:
Todd Frazier, Tim Anderson homer as White Sox pull even with Mariners in 8th
Evan Grossman / New York Daily News:
After pregame controversy, A-Rod has night of ups and downs in color commentary debut
Associated Press:
Mets' Steven Matz, Seth Lugo pitch to Travis d'Arnaud in minors
Discussion: Bless You Boys
Associated Press:
Rob Manfred acknowledges pace of game in MLB has gone ‘backwards’
 

 
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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