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3:55 PM ET, September 14, 2018

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 Top News: 
Paul Sullivan / Chicago Tribune:
7 candidates to replace Pedro Strop as Cubs closer  —  Cubs closer Pedro Strop discusses the hamstring injury he suffered in the team's 4-3 win at Washington on Sept. 13, 2018.  (Paul Sullivan/Chicago Tribune)  —  Chicago Tribune  —  Who will manager Joe Maddon choose to be the new Cubs closer for the stretch run?
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Paul Sullivan / Chicago Tribune:
3 things we learned from the Cubs' 4-3 win over the Nationals  —  Cubs closer Pedro Strop discusses the hamstring injury he suffered in the team's 4-3 win at Washington on Sept. 13, 2018.  (Paul Sullivan/Chicago Tribune)  —  Chicago Tribune  —  Here are three things we learned …
David Schoenfield / ESPN:
Trevor Story is pushing Javier Baez in crowded NL MVP race
Discussion: Baseball Prospectus
Mark Gonzales / Chicago Tribune:   Can Javier Baez carry the Cubs to the NL Central title?
Steve Rosenbloom / Chicago Tribune:   Column: Time to join Cubs manager Joe Maddon for another episode of ‘Joverthinking It’
Paul Sullivan / Chicago Tribune:   Kris Bryant helps Cubs come through in crucial game against Nationals
ESPN:
Yankees need to come up big against Jays  —  NEW YORK — When they left Yankee Stadium for a cross-country flight to Oakland following a tedious 11-7 loss to the Detroit Tigers, the New York Yankees held a decent amount of comfort in the wild-card race.  —  Now they come back still occupying …
Discussion: Pinstripe Alley
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Bill Madden / New York Daily News:   If Yankees aren't home for wild-card game, Aaron Boone will be to blame
Rob Longley / Toronto Sun:
Fenway farce: Blue Jays swept away in Beantown thanks to Solarte error
George A. King III / New York Post:
Hal Steinbrenner throws support behind Aaron Boone amid swoon
Discussion: Sporting News and MLB Trade Rumors
Eddie Matz / ESPN:
'It's like group therapy': How a rookie skipper won over the Cards clubhouse  —  Somehow, Mike Shildt got the St. Louis Cardinals to buy into “Ball Talk.”  —  It would've been all too easy for the Cardinals players, especially the veterans, to roll their eyes.
RELATED:
Rick Hummel / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:   Cardinals notes: Molina recovers enough to play
Rick Hummel / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:   Weaver becoming nonfactor on Cards' pitching staff
Michael Kelly / Associated Press:
Arenado, Story homer to help Rockies beat Diamondbacks 10-3  —  DENVER (AP) - Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story homered, Kyle Freeland pitched effectively into the seventh, and the Colorado Rockies beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 10-3 on Thursday to extend their NL West lead.
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Nick Piecoro / Arizona Republic:   Last Slide  —  DENVER — Eleven years ago, the Colorado Rockies …
Toronto Sun:   Astros return from another successful trip to face D-backs
Dave Clark / Cincinnati.com:
Former Reds exec Bob Miller of Nats auctions World Series ring for colleague with leukemia  —  Washington Nationals assistant general manager Bob Miller, who spent nine seasons with the Cincinnati Reds as vice president and assistant general manager, put the World Series ring he earned …
RELATED:
Nick Piecoro / Arizona Republic:   Former Diamondbacks executive to auction off 2001 World Series ring to help sick colleague
Arizona Republic:   Game Day: Diamondbacks visit Houston to take on defending World Series champion Astros
ESPN:
Mariners hope to stay on Cruz control vs. Angels  —  Nelson Cruz has done plenty of damage against the Los Angeles Angels in his 14-year career, and the Seattle Mariners designated hitter will look to cause more Friday night in the third contest of the four-game series.
RELATED:
Joe Reedy / MLB Baseball News, Scores …:
Cruz, Leake lead Mariners to 8-2 victory over Angels
Discussion: Lookout Landing
Bob Ford / Philly.com:
The 2018 Phillies.  So what the heck was that?  |  Bob Ford  —  The lone saving grace of the Phillies' late tumble from postseason contention was that the baseball they played while exiting the race wasn't much uglier than what they played while taking part.
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David Murphy / Philly.com:   As a season wanes, a complex set of decisions awaits the Phillies
Scott Boeck / USA Today:
MLB playoff picture: Updated look at division, wild card races  —  With just more than two weeks remaining, the Boston Red Sox are the only team to officially punch their ticket to the postseason.  —  The Red Sox still have work to do to clinch the American League East, although that …
Ramona Shelburne / ESPN:
Matt Kemp is finally home again in LA  —  There is no easy way to tell a player he's been traded.  But generally whatever awkwardness or emotion an executive feels from those calls is offset by the excitement of the calls welcoming the players joining the club.
Marc Topkin / Tampa Bay Times:
How big is Rays-A's this weekend?  Well ...  That the Rays are playing a series with even the slightest amount of playoff implications in mid-September is somewhat of an accomplishment.  —  How big the matchup with the A's that starts tonight at the Trop is depends on your perspective.
RELATED:
ESPN:   Rays try to close gap versus A's
ESPN:   A's starter Trevor Cahill scratched with strained muscle in back
Mike Puma / New York Post:
Jose Reyes hopes to be next to David Wright in his finale … Before David Wright announced he would return and start one last game in his Mets career, on Sept. 29, he found Jose Reyes in the clubhouse Thursday and shared the plan.  —  “We were both crying, it was a tough moment,” …
Discussion: Sporting News and Amazin' Avenue
RELATED:
Kevin Skiver / CBSSports.com:
David Wright gives an emotional press conference indicating plans to retire and Mets fans on Twitter are devastated
Associated Press:   Baseball notebook: Cubs' Rizzo wears uniform on team flight
Bob Nightengale / USA Today:
Braves, Giants franchises molded by 1993, MLB's last great pennant race  —  SAN FRANCISCO — The last great pennant race left some with the most beautiful memories in their careers and others with the ugliest of scars.  —  It created the most radical change in baseball's playoff format …
New York Daily News:
New book “Baseball Cop” explores MLB's investigation into the Biogenesis PED scandal by one of the men who uncovered it … “Tell THE DEA I WANT THIS DONE F— NOW!”  —  The DEA agents we first met in the Biogenesis investigation weren't exactly your type A sports fans.
Jeff Wilson / Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
And the Star-Telegram's No. 1 Rangers prospect is ...  The debate over who should be the No. 1 Texas Rangers prospect in the Star-Telegram's rankings came down to the value of a position player or the importance of developing a front-line starting pitcher.  —  And there was debate on who should be No. 1 among the two groups.
Discussion: Lone Star Ball
ESPN:
Brewers in thick of playoff race as they host Pirates  —  MILWAUKEE — Gio Gonzalez made a strong first impression on his new teammates.  —  Acquired by Milwaukee on Aug. 31 from Washington, where he'd gone 7-11 with a 4.57 ERA, Gonzalez returned to the mound after a 10-day rest and allowed …
ESPN:
Braves try to secure division title in homestand starting with Nationals  —  ATLANTA — The Atlanta Braves have built a 7 1/2-game lead in the National League East thanks to 42-21 record within the division and a 45-30 overall road record — the best in the league.
Discussion: Federal Baseball and Talking Chop
Rob Tornoe / Philly.com:
Ex-Phillies pitcher Dan Plesac: A day in the life of an MLB Network analyst  —  It was an eventful evening in baseball, featuring a walk-off home run, a near no-hitter, an October-like match-up in a tight divisional race and the final game of a sweep that all but closed the door on the Phillies' hopes of playing this postseason.
Marlowe Alter / Detroit Free Press:
Detroit Tigers' Casey Mize will be top-10 prospect in MLB, analyst says  —  Who are Detroit's next batch of star athletes?  We looked at the rosters of the Lions, Tigers, Red Wings and Pistons, and came up with a ranking of who could become our city's next big talent.
 
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