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12:05 PM ET, February 14, 2018

Ballbug

 Top News: 
Paul Sullivan / Chicago Tribune:
Column: Is Joe Maddon changing his hair style?  —  Chicago Tribune  —  Does he or doesn't he?  —  Only his hair stylist knows for sure.  —  While everyone was fixated on the Cubs' signing of Yu Darvish to a $126 million deal Tuesday on the first day of camp, the big story was overlooked.
RELATED:
Mark Gonzales / Chicago Tribune:
Chris Gimenez marvels at Yu Darvish's mix of business and fun  —  Chicago Tribune  —  After taking a playful hit Tuesday from Yu Darvish, Cubs catcher Chris Gimenez replied quickly.  —  “I like Jon Lester,” Gimenez joked Wednesday in reference to Darvish's quip that he liked catcher Willson Contreras …
Mark Gonzales / Chicago Tribune:   Joe Maddon puts up defense of 2017 Cubs: 'There's nothing negative about lasy year'
Mark Gonzales / Chicago Tribune:
Yu Darvish signing limits free-agent flexibility for Cubs next offseason
Discussion: Bleed Cubbie Blue
Mark Gonzales / Chicago Tribune:
Jake Arrieta not forgotten by Cubs
Discussion: Chicago Tribune
Jesse RogersESPN / ESPN:
Theo Epstein: World Series issues helped Cubs land Yu Darvish
Discussion: MLB on Yahoo! Sports
ESPN:
Justin Verlander tweets ‘I can think of reason’ why Yankees aren't team to beat in AL  —  The New York Yankees have been widely projected this offseason as a World Series contender, but Justin Verlander has offered a subtle reminder that the Houston Astros are still a force to be reckoned with.
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Mark Didtler / Baltimore Sun:
Boone embraces Yankees' expectations as spring training starts  —  On the day pitchers and catchers reported for his first spring training as New York Yankees manager, Aaron Boone acknowledged the pressure.  —  “Embrace that expectation,” Boone said Tuesday.  “Expect to go out there and be great.
Discussion: CBS New York
Pete Caldera / Daily Record:   Gary Sanchez vows to improve defensively in 2018
Jorge L. Ortiz / USA Today:   MLB spring training: Five issues to watch as pitchers and catchers report
John Harper / New York Daily News:
Aaron Boone is already bringing a Joe Torre-like touch to Yankees
Discussion: Pinstripe Alley
Jerry CrasnickESPN Senior / ESPN:
Shohei Ohtani's main impact will come as a pitcher, Mike Scioscia says  —  TEMPE, Ariz. — Shohei Ohtani is quickly discovering how his every move at Los Angeles Angels' camp will be scrutinized this spring.  About 50 Japanese media members gathered at the entrance of the player parking lot …
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Mike Axisa / CBSSports.com:
Angels planning to ease Shohei Ohtani into things with a six-man rotation  —  Ohtani will also get a chance to hit with the Angels  —  On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Angels opened their spring training camp in Arizona, which means Japanese two-way star Shohei Ohtani reported for his first workout with the organization.
ESPN:
Marlins CEO Derek Jeter says he's fine with ‘well-groomed’ facial hair  —  Though he was clean-shaven during his playing career for the New York Yankees, an organization noted for its strict policy on facial hair, Derek Jeter says he's fine if members of the Miami Marlins want to sport a mustache or beard.
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R.J. Anderson / CBSSports.com:
Jeter says he's still a Yankees fan, hopes to build sustainable winner with Marlins
Discussion: NESN.com
Nick Piecoro / Arizona Republic:
Diamondbacks on track to unveil humidor in 2018  —  Japanese right-handed pitcher Yoshihisa Hirano speaks at an introductory press conference at Salt River Fields on Feb. 12, 2018.  David Wallace/azcentral sports  —  Chase Field's standing as one of baseball's most hitter-friendly ballparks is subject to change.
Discussion: NBCSports.com
RELATED:
Nick Piecoro / Arizona Republic:
Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo preaches competition on eve of camp
Discussion: AZ Snake Pit
Associated Press:
New manager Mickey Callaway has big ideas for Mets  —  PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — For a first-time manager, Mickey Callaway was mighty bold about his own expectations with the New York Mets.  —  “The front office has gotten us the players.  The coaching staff is the best coaching staff in the big leagues,” he said Tuesday.
Matt Breen / Philly.com:
Phillies like their pitchers, but could still add  —  CLEARWATER, Fla. — There will not be much drama as the Phillies finalize their roster after six weeks of spring training as the major decision will be choosing a fifth starter from the handful of arms in the race.
RELATED:
Bob Brookover / Philly.com:   Wait ... Gabe Kapler wants his Phillies players to do what?
Associated Press:
Notebook: Gausman, Orioles avoid arbitration  —  Orioles, starter Gausman avoid arbitration hearing  —  The Orioles avoided an arbitration hearing with starting pitcher Kevin Gausman, agreeing to a $5.6 million, one-year contract.  —  Gausman's hearing had been scheduled for Wednesday.
Susan Slusser / San Francisco Chronicle:
Ex-A's right-hander Jarrod Parker retires after career derailed by injuries  —  A%E2%80%99s+Chris+Bassitt+discusses+ rotation+  —  Chris+Bassitt+on+competing+for+ A%E2%80%99s+rotation+spot+  —  Pitcher Chris Bassitt talks about competing for a starting job with the Oakland Athletics.
Anthony Fenech / Detroit Free Press:
Detroit Tigers' Daniel Stumpf favorite for lefty role, never satisfied  —  Watch as the Detroit Tigers' pitchers and catchers warm up with a game of catch on the first day of spring training on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018, in Lakeland, Fla. Video by Anthony Fenech/DFP
RELATED:
Anthony Fenech / Detroit Free Press:
Starless Detroit Tigers report to spring training with less fanfare
Discussion: Bless You Boys
Tom Haudricourt / JSOnline:
Starting pitching: With Jimmy Nelson on the mend, Brewers rotation up for grabs entering camp  —  Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell has pitching concerns to address.  He talked about some of his options at the 2017 Winter Meetings.  Milwaukee Brewers video  —  CONNECT
Discussion: Brew Crew Ball
Steve Buffery / Toronto Sun:
Sad day for Blue Jays' fans, players as Jerry Howarth announces retirement  —  Jerry Howarth won't be taking flight as the Blue Jays broadcaster anymore.  —  The voice of the Jays for 36 memorable years, an emotional Howarth announced his retirement Tuesday morning on Sportsnet 590 The Fan.
Discussion: Ballpark Digest
Tampa Bay Times:
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Don't call this a rebuilding season for Rays  —  The Rays' brass met with the media on Tuesday as pitchers and catchers reported to spring training.  In today's podcast, Rick Stroud breaks down their comments and explains a change in their pitching
 
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 More News: 
Erik Boland / Newsday:
Yankees' Dellin Betances lightens load, fine-tunes delivery
Discussion: River Avenue Blues
Mike Chappell / FOX59:
Head coach Frank Reich discusses plan for Indianapolis Colts
Discussion: ProFootballTalk and FanRag Sports
Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Braves' top prospect Acuna arrives in camp early
Colleen Kane / Chicago Tribune:
Baseball's back! Here's what Cubs and White Sox players did while they were away
Mike Mazzeo / New York Daily News:
Yankees' free agent infield, pitching options as spring training begins
Derrick Goold / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
As Cardinals camp opens, Gregerson relishes opportunity to finish where he started
Chris Kuc / Chicago Tribune:
White Sox reliever Nate Jones says he's healthy, ready to contend for closer role
Discussion: South Side Sox
Marc Topkin / Tampa Bay Times:
Rays journal: Colome has new look but same jersey, De Leon impresses, Romo finds sanctuary
 Earlier Picks: 
Associated Press:
Matt Kemp: ‘I love being back’ with the Dodgers
Discussion: ESPN and MLB on Yahoo! Sports
John Fay / Cincinnati.com:
Cincinnati Reds spring training notes: How does Scooter Gennett roll? In an RV, of course.
John Kekis / Associated Press:
Detroit Tigers great Jack Morris star-struck after Hall of Fame tour
Scott LauberESPN / ESPN:
David Price says he wants to move on from last season's mistakes
Discussion: Over the Monster and The Comeback
Rick Hummel / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Molina moves up on Musial, Gibson
 

 
From WeSmirch:

Nellie Andreeva / Deadline:
‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ Series Reboot With Black Lead In Works From Monica Owusu-Breen & Joss Whedon

Henry Chu / Variety:
Jennifer Hudson, Taylor Swift, James Corden, Ian McKellen Cast in Movie Version of ‘Cats’

YouTube:
Roseanne explains the Valerie Jarrett tweet.

 
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