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12:40 PM ET, March 21, 2023

Ballbug

 Top News: 
Alden Gonzalez / ESPN:
Japan plates 2 in ninth, ousts Mexico in World Baseball Classic  —  MIAMI — Munetaka Murakami, a Japanese Triple Crown winner who, at 23, is already among the best hitters in the world, thought about bunting.  —  It was the ninth inning, two runners occupied first and second base with nobody out …
RELATED:
Jessica Camerato / MLB.com:
USA drubs Cuba, setting up chance to repeat as champs  —  Americans await winner of Mexico-Japan for Tuesday's title game  —  MIAMI — Team USA is one win away from becoming back-to-back World Baseball Classic champions.  —  With a 14-2 semifinal victory over Cuba on Sunday night at loanDepot park …
Alanis Thames / Associated Press:
Trea Turner's grand slam lifts Team USA over Venezuela, into World Baseball Classic semis  —  Turner's eighth-inning blast propels the United States to a 9-7 win and into a matchup against Cuba on Sunday night for a spot in the final against Japan or Mexico  —  MIAMI — Trea Turner hit …
Evan Drellich / The Athletic:
MLB could tweak new rules before Opening Day: Sources  —  Members of MLB's competition committee on Monday discussed tweaks to baseball's new rules, people briefed on the meeting told The Athletic, opening the door to potential rule modifications for Opening Day.
Meghan Montemurro / Chicago Tribune:
Nazier Mulé, a 2-way prospect the Chicago Cubs drafted last year, will undergo Tommy John surgery  —  MESA, Ariz. — Chicago Cubs two-way prospect Nazier Mulé's professional baseball debut will be delayed.  —  Mulé is scheduled to undergo Tommy John surgery next week …
Discussion: Cubs Insider and Bleacher Nation
Fiifi Frimpong / New York Daily News:
Rick Pitino agrees to six-year deal to become St. John's head coach  —  Rick Pitino has agreed to become St. John's head coach, the school announced.  —  Pitino informed Iona he was leaving the program in a team meeting Monday afternoon and agreed to the six-year deal with the Red Storm, according to ESPN.
Kyle Odegard / Compare.bet® US:
Sources: Cardinals Fire Longtime Head Athletic Trainer Tom Reed  —  The Cardinals have fired longtime head athletic trainer Tom Reed, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the situation.  —  Reed held the position for the past 15 seasons in Arizona.
Jennifer Sheehan / Morning Call:
A cool tradition: First day of spring means free Rita's  —  Let's all put winter behind us and take part in a delicious (and free) spring tradition.  —  Rita's is once again offering free Italian ice to kick off the season.  Visit one of the Valley's 17 Rita's locations from noon to 9 p.m. Monday and get yourself some free Rita's.
Discussion: Mercury News
Peter King / ProFootballTalk:
FMIA: The First-Week Free-Agency Files  —  Early Report Card  —  1. Chicago.  The Bears traded ownership of the draft to Carolina, then owned the first week of free-agency.  —  After a conversation with Bears GM Ryan Poles the other night, it sounds like the trade was almost THE TRADE.
Kevin Acee / San Diego Union-Tribune:
Padres star Juan Soto suffers oblique injury in ‘B’ game  —  Padres star left fielder leaves ‘B’ game with ‘mild’ left oblique strain  —  The day before their day off was not a good one for the Padres.  —  Even before catcher Austin Nola was carted off the field with an apparent broken nose during …
Discussion: MLB Trade Rumors
Cole Bradley / Mercury News:
Pache making his case to remain in Oakland A's outfield mix  —  The A's Opening Day centerfielder last season is out of options, but solid spring might help him keep his job  —  MESA, Ariz. — When Cristian Pache entered his second spring training with the Oakland A's last month …
Discussion: NBCSports.com and Athletics Nation
Jacob Meyer / Baltimore Sun:
Orioles observations on Colton Cowser's 476-foot blast, Dean Kremer's WBC experience, Mike Baumann's new role and more  —  FORT MYERS, Fla. — Colton Cowser didn't need to eat Wheaties on Friday morning to power the 476-foot home run he smashed against the Minnesota Twins.
 
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Eileen Reslen / Page Six:
Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce hold hands during low-key date night at sushi restaurant after skipping Coachella

Sanj Atwal / Guinness World Records:
World's oldest conjoined twins Lori and George die aged 62

TMZ.com:
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