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2:05 PM ET, February 14, 2020

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 Top News: 
Thomas M. Boswell / Washington Post:
This was the time for the Astros to own their cheating.  Maybe they missed the sign.  —  WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — On one side of Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, Houston Astros owner Jim Crane was deep into damage control and implausible deniability Thursday.  On the day his team picked …
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Alden Gonzalez / ESPN:
NL MVP Cody Bellinger says Astros' Jose Altuve stole 2017 AL MVP from Aaron Judge  —  GLENDALE, Ariz. — Cody Bellinger, the reigning National League MVP, didn't hold back when commenting about the Houston Astros' sign-stealing methods and ensuing apologies on Friday morning …
Discussion: Sports Illustrated
Jeff Passan / ESPN:
What to make of Houston Astros owner Jim Crane's public (non-)apology  —  WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Houston Astros owner Jim Crane's latest attempt at damage control blew up in spectacular fashion Thursday.  In the span of 27 minutes at a news conference, he claimed his team's routine cheating during …
Buster Olney / ESPN:
Aroldis Chapman calls Jose Altuve's 2019 actions ‘suspicious’
Discussion: Sports Illustrated
ESPN:
Report: Kevin Pillar agrees to 1-year, $4M deal with Red Sox  —  The Boston Red Sox have agreed to a deal with free-agent outfielder Kevin Pillar, according to The Boston Globe.  —  The newspaper reports it's a one-year, $4 million deal that could become official as soon as this weekend if Pillar passes his physical.
RELATED:
Joon Lee / ESPN:
Dustin Pedroia's knee still sore, will not report to Red Sox on Monday  —  FORT MYERS, Fla. — Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia will not arrive to spring training when position players are required to report to camp Monday, interim manager Ron Roenicke said Thursday.
Discussion: Yahoo! Sports and NESN.com
Connor Byrne / MLB Trade Rumors:
Mitch Haniger Undergoes Surgery  —  Mariners outfielder Mitch Haniger underwent surgery on Thursday, Jeff Passan of ESPN reports.  It's the second procedure Haniger has undergone since he had core surgery three weeks ago.  It's unclear when he'll be able to come back, but there will be a significant delay …
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Ryan Divish / The Seattle Times:
Mariners' Mitch Haniger undergoes second surgery in three weeks; timetable to return unknown  —  Mitch Haniger's return to the Mariners for the 2020 season has been possibly delayed by yet another surgery.  It was yet another unfortunate injury issue for the Mariners' best player.
Steve Adams / MLB Trade Rumors:
Mike Clevinger To Undergo Knee Surgery  —  Indians ace Mike Clevinger is slated to undergo surgery to repair a partial tear of the medial meniscus in his left knee, reports Zack Meisel of The Athletic (Twitter link).  Clevinger has been on crutches after sustaining the injury while training earlier this week.
Marc Topkin / Tampa Bay Times:
Rays' Kevan Smith had an interesting cameo in Astros scandal  —  Smith was the White Sox catcher in a video that showed how the cheating scheme was working.  —  PORT CHARLOTTE — With all of the clubhouse TV screens and a good share of the Rays' attention locked in on the Astros apology …
Maggie Haberman / New York Times:
Hope Hicks to Return to the White House After a Nearly Two-Year Absence  —  President Trump's former communications director will return as an aide to Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and senior adviser.  —  Hope Hicks, a close aide to President Trump who resigned nearly two years ago …
Mark Polishuk / MLB Trade Rumors:
Angels Notes: Maddon, Cubs, Anderson, Pena, Soriano  —  Joe Maddon is pleased to be returning to the Angels organization as the team's new manager, the veteran skipper tells ESPN.com's Alden Gonzalez.  Rumors about Maddon taking over the managerial post swirled for much of last season …
Nick Piecoro / Arizona Republic:
Diamondbacks pitcher Mike Leake has left wrist fracture, hopes to be ready for season  —  Diamondbacks right-hander Mike Leake has a fracture in his left wrist, an injury he hopes won't keep him from making the Opening Day roster.  —  Leake, who suffered the injury on a fall at home …
Discussion: MLB Trade Rumors
 
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