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10:40 AM ET, March 23, 2023

Ballbug

 Top News: 
Jeff Passan / ESPN:
MLB making small changes to pitch clock rules, memo says  —  Major League Baseball is making slight changes to its new pitch clock rules but will not alter the most significant portions of the mandates that have shaved 25 minutes off game times this spring, according to a memo obtained by ESPN.
RELATED:
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.
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:
Ronald Blum / Associated Press:
Shohei Ohtani strikes out Mike Trout as Japan edges Team USA for World Baseball Classic title  —  Ohtani whiffs his Angels teammate on a full-count slider for the final out in a matchup so many wanted to see, giving Japan a 3-2 victory over the defending champs for its first WBC crown since 2009
USA Today:
World Baseball Classic final recap: Shohei Ohtani strikes out Mike Trout to close out Japan win over USA
Jessica Camerato / MLB.com:
USA drubs Cuba, setting up chance to repeat as champs
Meghan Montemurro / Chicago Tribune:
Chicago Cubs 3B prospect James Triantos undergoes knee surgery and will miss at least 6-8 weeks, sources say  —  ExpandAutoplay  —  1 of 53  —  Chicago Cubs left fielder Ian Happ, pitcher Kyle Hendricks, pitcher Marcus Stroman and right fielder Seiya Suzuki.
Discussion: Bleacher Nation
RELATED:
Meghan Montemurro / Chicago Tribune:
After watching from afar as Team Japan won the World Baseball Classic, Chicago Cubs RF Seiya Suzuki is focused on rehab  —  ExpandAutoplay  —  1 of 53  —  Chicago Cubs left fielder Ian Happ, pitcher Kyle Hendricks, pitcher Marcus Stroman and right fielder Seiya Suzuki.
Meghan Montemurro / Chicago Tribune:
Nazier Mulé, a 2-way prospect the Chicago Cubs drafted last year, will undergo Tommy John surgery
Apple:
“Friday Night Baseball” resumes on Apple TV+ on April 7  —  Weekly doubleheaders begin with the Texas Rangers at the Chicago Cubs, and the San Diego Padres at the Atlanta Braves  —  Today Apple and Major League Baseball (MLB) announced that “Friday Night Baseball,” a weekly doubleheader …
Tim Healey / Newsday:
Brett Baty's spring training epiphany: There's no rush at third base  —  PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — At the start of spring training, the story on Brett Baty was straightforward.  Nobody doubted his ability to hit.  There were plenty of questions about his defense.
Discussion: The Athletic
RELATED:
Tyler Kepner / New York Times:
A Scoreless Wonder and a Master of the Sinker  —  Among the National League's most promising young pitchers, Arizona's Zac Gallen and San Francisco's Logan Webb stand out as Cy Young Award candidates.  —  SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Zac Gallen had just been promoted to Class AA …
Associated Press:
UCF steps into unknown territory with NIT matchup at Oregon  —  The Knights try to keep their season alive today in Eugene when they play the Ducks for the first time.  —  UCF (19-14) has had an up-and-down season but can salvage the disappointment of not qualifying for the NCAA Tournament …
Discussion: Mercury News
Kristian Winfield / New York Daily News:
Nets lose 4th in a row; rally late and fall short to Cavs, 115-109  —  No wonder the Cavaliers want the Nets in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs this season.  —  If that hypothetical series goes anything like the Nets' 115-109 loss to the Cavaliers on Tuesday, Cleveland may as well own a first-round bye.
Mike Lupica / New York Daily News:
Willis Reed was the beating heart of the champion Knicks  —  It couldn't have happened without all of them, without Clyde who played the game of his life in that Game 7 against the Lakers that May night in 1970, the night at Madison Square Garden when the Knicks finally won it all, 36 points from him and 19 assists and seven rebounds.
 
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Jen Juneau / People:
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