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2:10 PM ET, February 12, 2020


 Top News: 
Washington Post:
The world just learned of the Astros' cheating.  Inside baseball, it was an open secret.  —  On the evening of Oct. 22, 2019, a group of umpires, Major League Baseball officials and the brain trusts of the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros — the respective general managers …
The Athletic:
Details emerge about Carlos Beltrán's role in the 2017 Astros clubhouse and the team's sign-stealing scheme  —  You're an accessory to a robbery, and now you're in the backseat of the getaway car.  You never intended to be part of a criminal act.  But the doors are locked …
Jeff Passan / ESPN:
Sources: Astros owner Jim Crane to talk strategy with team amid scandal  —  WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Houston Astros owner Jim Crane is expected to meet with the full Astros roster Wednesday to discuss the team's strategy for publicly addressing the sign-stealing scandal that has rocked …
Jeff Todd / MLB Trade Rumors:
Mike Bolsinger Sues Astros Over Sign-Stealing Scheme
Associated Press:
Red Sox Name Ron Roenicke as Interim Manager  —  Roenicke, Boston's bench coach, was put in charge on the eve of the team's first spring training workout.  He replaced Alex Cora, who was let go because of his role in the Astros' sign-stealing scandal.  —  FORT MYERS, Fla. …
Bill Shanks / Sports Illustrated:
Braves start day one with news of Cole Hamels' injury  —  On a day that is counted down to all winter, the day pitchers and catchers officially report to spring training, the Atlanta Braves had inauspicious news start spring training Wednesday morning.  —  Manager Brian Snitker told reporters …
Gabriel Burns / Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Braves roster preview: Rotation could be formidable ... or position of need
Discussion: The Good Phight and Talking Chop
Sources: MLB weighing major changes to postseason, including growing number of teams to 14  —  Major League Baseball is mulling significant changes to its postseason, including increasing the number of teams from 10 to 14 and adding a reality TV-type format to determine which teams play each …
Discussion: National Review and USA Today
Love it or hate it? The proposal to shake up the MLB playoffs
Discussion: Bleed Cubbie Blue, USA Today and Reason
Joel Sherman / New York Post:
MLB plotting playoff expansion — with reality TV twist
Scott Gleeson / USA Today:
Entering another spring training with Mets, Tim Tebow 'won't give up' on baseball dream  —  If Tim Tebow strikes out at baseball, it's certainly going to be swinging.  —  Tebow begins spring training with the New York Mets organization next week in Port St. Lucie, Fla. …
Discussion: New York Post
Shi Davidi /
Police: Blue Jays' Reese McGuire arrested for ‘Exposure of Sexual Organs’  —  DUNEDIN, Fla. - Toronto Blue Jays catcher Reese McGuire was arrested last weekend for the exposure of sexual organs and given a notice to appear in court, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.
Jon Paul Morosi /
Several teams checking in on KB trade (sources)  —  Kris Bryant is due to arrive to Sloan Park in Mesa, Ariz., later this week.  By all indications, he will be in the Cubs' Opening Day lineup in Milwaukee on March 26.  —  Yet, it's also true that the Cubs remain engaged in communication …
Jeff Wilson / Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
Greg Bird comes to Texas Rangers camp early, healthy, ready to compete at first base  —  Feeling healthy again and with a job to win, Greg Bird is a week early to Texas Rangers spring training.  —  Once a top New York Yankees prospect, Bird was designated for assignment in November after four injury-plagued seasons.
Discussion: New York Post and Lone Star Ball
Marc Topkin / Tampa Bay Times:
Is Rays' Charlie Morton retiring after 2020?  —  The veteran Rays pitcher said Tuesday that he might.  Performance, health, family and money all will be part of his decision.  —  PORT CHARLOTTE — Could this be Charlie Morton's last season pitching?  —  Coming off a 2019 performance …
Discussion: MLB Trade Rumors
Alden Gonzalez / ESPN:
Joe Maddon opens up on leaving Chicago Cubs, returning to L.A. Angels  —  LONG BEACH, Calif. — Joe Maddon settled into a small Italian deli bordering the Pacific coast Friday, only a block from the high-rise condominium that housed him for the past month, and instantly felt regret.
Jeff Todd / MLB Trade Rumors:
Phillies Hope For 2nd Half Return From David Robertson  —  The Phillies are hopeful they've got a built-in summer acquisition in the form of veteran reliever David Robertson.  As Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports on Twitter, new Phils skipper Joe Girardi says that he hopes Robertson …
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 More News: 
Tim Healey / Newsday:
Mets manager Luis Rojas: ‘We expect to be a contender’
Discussion: Newsday
Steve Adams / MLB Trade Rumors:
Mariners To Sign Carlos Gonzalez
Jeff Todd / MLB Trade Rumors:
Athletics Showing Interest In Jason Kipnis
 Earlier Picks: 
Associated Press:
Ahmed, D-backs agree to $32.5 million, 4-year deal
Discussion: AZ Snake Pit

From WeSmirch:

Robyn Merrett /
Lori Loughlin's Attorney Makes Bombshell Claim That the FBI Told Rick Singer to Lie About Her Knowledge

Lindsay Crouse / New York Times:
My Ex-Boyfriend's New Girlfriend Is Lady Gaga

Rebecca Strassberg / Us Weekly:
Married! Frankie Muniz Weds Longtime Girlfriend Paige Price

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