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11:20 AM ET, March 17, 2017

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 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: Bleed Cubbie Blue and Yahoo Sports
RELATED:
Jeff Wilson / Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
Profar, relievers among stars of Rangers' spring training  —  SURPRISE, ARIZ.  —  The star of Texas Rangers spring training hasn't been at the Surprise Recreation Campus since late February.  —  Nevertheless, Jurickson Profar is opening eyes with his play in the World Baseball Classic …
Discussion: Dallas Morning News
ESPN:
The full story on LB Derrick Johnson & FB Anthony Sherman's reworked contracts: The Chiefs - who were tight to the salary cap - have agreed to a major pay cut with linebacker Derrick Johnson, per league source.  Johnson, who tore his Achilles last year, was due a base salary $4.75M for 2017 and up to $1M in per game roster bonuses.
Mark Gonzales / Chicago Tribune:
Cubs starters cautious about plans for occasional six-man rotation  —  Cubs' Brett Anderson on his fourth game and his slider on March 14, 2017.  (Mark Gonzales/Chicago Tribune)  —  Chicago Tribune  —  Preventive maintenance or an untimely tuneup?  —  That's the fine line Jon Lester …
Discussion: Bleed Cubbie Blue
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.
Michael Baumann / The Ringer:
The Quest to Determine the Second Best Pitcher in Baseball  —  As long as Clayton Kershaw is still pitching, every other starter in the majors is competing for the silver medal.  Who's no. 2?  According to a bunch of big leaguers, it's Max Scherzer.
Roger Mooney / Tampa Bay Times:
Spin doctors: Pinpointing the reasons for a pitcher's success  —  PORT CHARLOTTE — The subject was spin rate, and that brought Jim Palmer back to a question he once asked Elrod Hendricks, one of Palmer's catchers during his years in Baltimore.  —  “How do I get them out?”
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.
David Ovalle / miamiherald:
Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez to blame for fatal boating crash, investigation concludes  —  Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez - drunk, high on cocaine and speeding - was behind the wheel and to blame when his boat plowed into a jetty off South Beach, killing two others, police concluded in a report released Thursday.
Fox Sports:
Surge at the 6-spot could signal end of the glove-first SS  —  CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) As an All-Star shortstop in the 1970s and '80s, Larry Bowa recalls having a clear job description:  —  “Catch the balls and make all the plays.”  —  Bowa typified the traditional sandpaper shortstop …
Discussion: baseballmusings.com
Bruce Schoenfeld / ESPN:
The complicated state of Haitian Dominicans in MLB  —  Arroz con pollo waits on the table at Miguel Sano's duplex condo, not far from Target Field.  Sano's sister is visiting from the Dominican Republic, and her husband has made the Twins slugger's favorite dish — mounds of it, enough to feed a baseball team.
Shi Davidi / Sportsnet.ca:
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.”
 
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 More News: 
Tampa Bay Times:
Kevin Kiermaier deal is relief for him and safe risk worth taking for Rays
Erik Boland / Newsday:
Yankees' Greg Bird homers off Clay Buchholz to continue hot streak
Discussion: Pinstripe Alley
Jordan Bastian / MLB.com:
Indians outfielder goes 1-for-3 with double, three RBIs in debut
Discussion: Brew Crew Ball
Baseball Prospectus:
Tales of Cubs Fans, Extroverts, and 1987 Topps
Discussion: The Good Phight
Steve Adams / MLB Trade Rumors:
Rays To Release Dana Eveland
Discussion: DRaysBay
Pete Grathoff / Kansas City Star:
Salvador Perez's knee OK but elbow is hurt; says he'll be ready for Royals opener
Discussion: Royals Review
 Earlier Picks: 
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 / Philly.com:
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
Dan Martin / New York Post:
Gleyber Torres isn't making a demotion easy on Yankees
 

 
From WeSmirch:

Karen Mizoguchi / People.com:
Jennifer Hudson & Fiancé David Otunga Split, Singer Receives Protective Order Against Partner of 10 Years

Entertainment Tonight:
Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian Are Married

People.com:
Saturday Night Live's Bill Hader and Wife Maggie Carey Are Divorcing

 
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