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12:30 PM ET, November 20, 2021

Ballbug

 Top News: 
Jeff Fletcher / BBWAA:
Angels' Shohei Ohtani wins AL MVP unanimously  —  Shohei Ohtani, who starred as a hitter and pitcher for the Los Angeles Angels, won the American League MVP Award unanimously, becoming the 11th player to sweep the voting in the AL.  —  The other unanimous winners in the AL: Hank Greenberg …
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Alden Gonzalez / ESPN:
Shohei Ohtani of Los Angeles Angels unanimously wins AL MVP  —  Shohei Ohtani, coming off a largely unprecedented 2021 season, was crowned the American League's Most Valuable Player unanimously on Thursday night, cementing the two-way superstar as a global sensation.
Jeff Fletcher / BBWAA:
Phillies' Bryce Harper wins his 2nd MVP  —  Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper was named the National League MVP, the second time he has won the award.  Harper won in 2015 with the Washington Nationals.  —  It marks the eighth time a Phillies player has won the award …
Alden Gonzalez / ESPN:
Philadelphia Phillies superstar Bryce Harper captures second career MVP  —  Bryce Harper claimed his second Most Valuable Player Award on Thursday, edging out Juan Soto, Fernando Tatis Jr. and several others in what seemingly became a wide open race in the National League.
Steve Gardner / USA Today:
Phillies slugger Bryce Harper claims second NL MVP award
Jeff Passan / ESPN:
Commissioner Rob Manfred says lockout could move MLB collective bargaining agreement talks forward  —  CHICAGO — Major League Baseball owners have not yet decided to lock out players if there is no new labor deal after the Dec. 1 expiration of the current one, commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday …
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Evan Drellich / The Athletic:
Rob Manfred says offseason MLB lockout different than one that cancels games; ‘Time is becoming an issue’  —  CHICAGO — With Major League Baseball potentially two weeks away from its first work stoppage in 26 years, commissioner Rob Manfred on Thursday drew a distinction between a work stoppage …
Childs Walker / Baltimore Sun:
Ravens QB Lamar Jackson feeling ‘much better,’ aiming to catch up for game vs. Bears after return from illness  —  There was no prolonged mystery as the Ravens began practice Friday.  Lamar Jackson bopped around the field in his familiar black No. 8 jersey, tossing spirals despite the blustery chill in Owings Mills.
Discussion: Chicago Tribune and Boston Herald
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Deesha Thosar / New York Daily News:
Billy Eppler introduced as Mets GM, says he can take ‘bigger swings’ and spend on free agents  —  In the earliest days of Billy Eppler's newborn tenure as general manager of the Mets, his boss, the multi-billionaire team owner Steve Cohen, has made sure Eppler understands at least one thing …
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Rick Stroud / Tampa Bay Times:
Bucs' Antonio Brown accused of obtaining fake vaccine card  —  A former live-in chef also says Brown, who missed one game this season after testing positive for COVID, owes him $10,000.  —  Updated Just now  —  TAMPA — Bucs receiver Antonio Brown obtained a fake COVID-19 vaccination card …
Juan Toribio / MLB.com:
Seager, Taylor both reject qualifying offer  —  LOS ANGELES — As expected, shortstop Corey Seager and super utility man Chris Taylor have officially rejected the Dodgers' $18.4 million qualifying offer before Wednesday's deadline.  —  Though Seager and Taylor are now officially …
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Jeff Passan / ESPN:   New York Yankees' Hal Steinbrenner talks free agency, praises Aaron Boone, Brian Cashman
Associated Press:
Cleveland Guardians' launch starts with store sign crashing to sidewalk  —  CLEVELAND (AP) _ A special opening day for the newly named Cleveland Guardians began with a bang.  —  Not the one they hoped for, either.  —  As fans were buying the first available Guardians merchandise on Friday …
Discussion: Lookout Landing
Associated Press:
New York Yankees designate Clint Frazier, Rougned Odor, Tyler Wade for assignment  —  NEW YORK — Clint Frazier's tenure with the Yankees might have ended after five unfulfilling seasons when New York designated him for assignment Friday to open a roster spot for a prospect ahead of the winter meeting draft.
Discussion: Rum Bunter
Dennis Young / New York Daily News:
Ex-Jets RB Zac Stacy on the run after video shows him violently assaulting ex-girlfriend  —  Zac Stacy, a former Jets running back, violently assaulted his ex-girlfriend on Saturday, punching her in the head and then throwing her against a television and their son's chair.
ESPN:
Sources: Houston Astros keep ace Justin Verlander with one-year, $25 million deal  —  The Houston Astros and right-hander Justin Verlander have agreed to a one-year, $25 million contract with a player option for a second season, sources confirmed to ESPN on Wednesday.
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 More News: 
Colleen Kane / Chicago Tribune:
Chicago Bears reportedly sign veteran pass rusher Bruce Irvin, who has 52 career sacks
Discussion: Boston Herald
 Earlier Picks: 
Josh Norris / Baseball America:
Leases No More: MLB Teams Now Responsible for Minor League Housing
 

 
From WeSmirch:

Benjamin VanHoose / People:
Jenna Jameson's Wife Jessi Lawless Reveals She Filed for Annulment After Less Than 1 Year of Marriage

Borys Kit / Hollywood Reporter:
Pamela Anderson to Star Opposite Liam Neeson in ‘Naked Gun’ Remake

Natalia Senanayake / People:
Emma Roberts' L.A. Home Has ‘Doll Wall’ She Hopes Will ‘Come to Life’ — See Inside!

 
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