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12:45 PM ET, March 21, 2012


 Top News: 
Bill Ladson /
Strasburg to start Opening Day for Nationals  —  Right-hander will begin season against Cubs at Wrigley Field  —  VIERA, Fla. — Stephen Strasburg will be the Nationals' Opening Day starter.  It will be the first such assignment for the 23-year-old right-hander.
Jerry Crasnick /
Strasburg to make Opening Day start for Nats  —  Stephen Strasburg will be the Washington Nationals' Opening Day starter April 5 against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field, manager Davey Johnson announced Wednesday.  —  Strasburg  —  “I like to put my best foot forward from the get-go,” Johnson said.
Discussion: Yahoo! Sports
Anthony DiComo /
Strasburg sharp, bats held in check vs. Mets  —  Righty fans three, allows two hits, one run over five innings  —  PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — If the Mets and Nationals have their way, youngsters Lucas Duda and Stephen Strasburg will square off plenty of times going forward in National League East play.
Discussion: Federal Baseball and Yahoo! Sports
Jenifer Langosch /
Carpenter shut down; likely to start year on DL  —  JUPITER, Fla. — Chris Carpenter returned to St. Louis on Tuesday to undergo a new series of tests after shoulder/neck weakness resurfaced during the right-hander's session of catch on Monday.  This latest interruption of his spring throwing …
Joe Strauss / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
New setback for Carpenter  —  JUPITER, Fla.  • Cardinals co-ace Chris Carpenter returned to St. Louis on Tuesday to be further examined by nerve specialists after experiencing renewed symptoms associated with a bulging cervical disc.  —  Carpenter, who threw live batting practice Sunday …
Dominic Massa / WWL-TV:
Mel Parnell, N.O. native and former Red Sox pitcher, dies at 89  —  NEW ORLEANS - Mel Parnell, the New Orleans native who went on to a star career in Major League Baseball as a starting pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, died Tuesday.  He was 89.  —  Parnell spent his entire 10-year career with Boston, from 1947 to 1956.
Jerry Crasnick / MLB:
Berkman: Selig ‘extorted’ Astros into AL move  —  KISSIMMEE, Fla. — St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Lance Berkman said Tuesday that Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig “extorted” new Houston Astros owner Jim Crane into changing leagues as a precondition of the sale of the franchise in November.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch:   Berkman tried to recruit Pettitte to Cards
David Laurila / FanGraphs Baseball:
Q&A: Doug Glanville on Defensive Metrics  —  Had “The Fielding Bible” existed during his playing days, Doug Glanville would have graded out well among outfielders.  As it is, the respected ESPN analyst has to settle for being one of 10 panelists who voted on this year's awards.
Discussion: THE BOOK
Associated Press:
Orioles sign two-time All-Star left-hander Willis  —  SARASOTA, Fla. — Dontrelle Willis and the Baltimore Orioles have agreed to a minor league contract.  —  The 30-year-old lefty, who won 22 games in 2005, was released by the Philadelphia Phillies on March 16.
Discussion: Bats
Brittany Ghiroli /
D-Train signs Minors deal with Orioles
Discussion: Yahoo! Sports
Mike Puma / New York Post:
GM Alderson: Mets to stick with austerity plan  —  Mets on Twitter  —  PORT ST. LUCIE — The Mets aren't rebuilding, they are going through an “evolutionary process,” according to general manager Sandy Alderson.  And evolution doesn't speed up just because ownership no longer has a clawback lawsuit clouding its future.
Discussion: HardballTalk and New York Post
Ian Browne /
Shoppach goes deep in loss to Blue Jays  —  In bid to win rotation job, Bard yields three runs over five frames  —  FORT MYERS, Fla. — Kelly Shoppach launched his first homer and right-hander Daniel Bard was strong in four of his five innings during the Red Sox's 9-2 loss to the Blue Jays on Tuesday night at JetBlue Park.
Discussion: Boston Globe and Over the Monster
David Murphy: Phillies need a veteran infielder  —  CLEARWATER, Fla. - Already, the pronouncements have begun.  The Phillies would be quite confident with 22-year-old Freddy Galvis in their Opening Day lineup.  They do not feel any pressure to add a seasoned veteran.
Discussion:, MLB Rumors and Philled In
Jeff Sullivan / Baseball Nation:
Jered Weaver's Real Home-Field Advantage  —  Like any good Mariners fan, I read a lot of stuff that's written about the Mariners.  Most of it I don't need to have read, since little of it tells me anything I didn't already know, but that possibility that there's something in there keeps me reading.
Greg Johns /
Millwood, Iwakuma stake claims to roster spots  —  GOODYEAR, Ariz. — Veteran right-hander Kevin Millwood bolstered his bid for a starting spot in the Mariners' rotation on Tuesday, while Hisashi Iwakuma pitched three innings of shutout ball in relief in what might foreshadow his immediate future for Seattle.
Discussion: U.S.S. Mariner and Lookout Landing
Michael Baron /
Morning News: Torres strains calf; Terry considers options  —  Last night, Andres Torres was hurt after catching a line drive in the second inning.  He was replaced in the top of the third inning by Adam Loewen, after which, he told reporters he doesn't expect to be out long, saying:
Boston Red Sox News:
The Wall: Pedroia has some fun on NESN  —  Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia takes some playoff jabs at NESN broadcaster Don Orsillo during a guest play-by-play stint on Tuesday night.  —  The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used …
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 More News: 
Bryan Hoch /
A-Rod instrumental as Yanks' bats erupt
Discussion: Pinstripe Alley
Steve Campbell / Ultimate Astros:
J.D. Martinez doesn't know when to quit working
Discussion: Bleacher Report and HardballTalk
Steve Gilbert /
Pollock's homer gives D-backs walk-off win
Discussion: AZ Snake Pit
Ken Gurnick /
Ethier's homer highlights victory vs. Brewers
Discussion: True Blue LA
Kieran Darcy / ESPN:
Pettitte on joining Yanks: I feel like I never left
Discussion: Yahoo! Sports
Robbi Pickeral / ESPN:
Williams: UNC planning to be without Marshall
Jason Beck /
Tigers flex muscle behind solid Verlander
Discussion: Bless You Boys
Richard Durrett / ESPN:
Neftali Feliz exits with stiff shoulder
 Earlier Picks: 
Sports Illustrated:
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Mark Bowman /
Vizcaino to miss '12 after Tommy John surgery
Discussion: Lookout Landing
Marc Topkin / The Heater Feed:
Rays Maddon meets his idol: Joe Namath
Aumont, Schwimer sent down
Richard Durrett / ESPN:
Derek Holland signs 5-year deal

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John Stamos and Caitlin McHugh Are Engaged!

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Kelly Clarkson opens up about the darkest time in her career: ‘When I was really skinny I wanted to kill myself’

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