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11:15 PM ET, March 29, 2023

Ballbug

 Top News: 
Ira Winderman / Sun-Sentinel:
Herro's 33 not enough as Heat fall 106-92 in Toronto in injury absence of Butler  —  TORONTO — No, not optimal.  —  Coming off a game when they arguably were at their worst, the Miami Heat faced the challenge of responding to that adversity in the void of their best player.  —  It went as expected.
RELATED:
Ira Winderman / Sun-Sentinel:
Winderman's view: A night of painted misery for Heat in loss in Toronto  —  TORONTO — Observations and other notes of interest from Tuesday night's 106-92 loss to the Toronto Raptors:  — At just about every turn, the Miami Heat have avoided the next big thing.  — Jae Crowder at power forward worked.
ESPN:
2023 MLB predictions: Wild Cards, Playoffs, World Series, more  —  It's opening week, and you know what that means — season predictions!  —  There are lots of questions going into the 2023 season: What does Year 2 of MLB's expanded playoffs have to offer?  How will rule changes play out over the season?
RELATED:
ESPN:
MLB season preview: Rankings, playoff odds for all 30 teams
Discussion: Call to the Pen and The Ringer
Andrew Baggarly / The Athletic:
Giants chairman Greg Johnson assesses team, commits to Farhan Zaidi beyond 2023  —  SAN FRANCISCO — Giants chairman Greg Johnson made his best personal pitch to Aaron Judge this offseason.  Johnson approved the $350 million contract with Carlos Correa that would have nearly doubled the largest guaranteed sum in franchise history.
Long Island Ducks Baseball:
THREE-TIME MAJOR LEAGUE ALL-STAR DANIEL MURPHY JOINS DUCKS  —  The Long Island Ducks today announced the signing of 12-year Major League veteran infielder Daniel Murphy.  He begins his first season with the Ducks and 16th in professional baseball.  —  “This game is part of my soul …
Khobi Price / Orlando Sentinel:
As Caleb Houstan plays a bigger role, Magic's win streak snapped in Memphis  —  MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Rookie forward Caleb Houstan is back where he started the season: in the Orlando Magic's rotation.  —  Houstan, the No. 32 pick in last year's draft, has played in the Magic's last six games …
Discussion: Reading Eagle and Associated Press
LaMond Pope / Chicago Tribune:
'He's got some fire in him': Pedro Grifol focused on the here and now as he begins 1st season as Chicago White Sox manager  —  ExpandAutoplay  —  1 of 30  —  Center fielder Luis Robert Jr., outfielder Eloy Jiménez, infielder Elvis Andrus and shortstop Tim Anderson.
Jesse Rogers / ESPN:
Pitch clock shaved 26 minutes off MLB spring training games  —  The use of a pitch clock shaved 26 minutes off spring training games this spring compared to last year as Major League Baseball is set to use it for the first time in the regular season beginning Thursday.
Associated Press:
Ump ejects Phillies' J.T. Realmuto after awkward ball handoff  —  DUNEDIN, Fla. — Philadelphia Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto was ejected Monday from a spring training game against the Toronto Blue Jays for an awkward ball exchange that followed a pitch-clock violation.
Discussion: The Good Phight and USA Today
RELATED:
Jacob Meyer / Baltimore Sun:
Grayson Rodriguez, Orioles' top pitching prospect, won't make starting rotation to begin season  —  SARASOTA, Fla. — Grayson Rodriguez's much-anticipated arrival to the major leagues will have to wait, as Orioles manager Brandon Hyde informed the top pitching prospect Monday morning that he would instead begin the season in Triple-A.
RELATED:
Matt Kawahara / San Francisco Chronicle:
Outfielder Cristian Pache, out of minor-league options, will not make A's roster  —  Cristian Pache will not make the Oakland Athletics' season-opening roster, manager Mark Kotsay said on Monday night, making it possible the center fielder will not be in the organization much longer.
Jeff Passan / ESPN:
Sources: Hoerner, Cubs agree on 3-year, $35 million extension  —  Second baseman Nico Hoerner and the Chicago Cubs are in agreement on a three-year, $35 million contract extension, sources told ESPN, locking up the team's most productive player last season for an extra season before he was due to hit free agency.
Stefan Bondy / New York Daily News:
Immanuel Quickley scores career-high 40 points in blowout victory over lowly Rockets  —  Three days rest and the lowly Houston Rockets did the trick.  —  The Knicks got off the schneid by pummeling the Rockets with points in Monday's 137-115 runaway victory, snapping their three-game losing …
Discussion: New York Post and Newsday
Bobby Nightengale / Cincinnati.com:
Joey Votto to begin Cincinnati Reds season on injured list, ending his Opening Day streak  —  For the first time since 2008, a stretch of 14 consecutive seasons, Joey Votto won't be written into the Cincinnati Reds' Opening Day lineup.  —  Votto announced Monday he will begin a Triple …
Discussion: ESPN and The Athletic
 
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 More News: 
Abbey Mastracco / New York Daily News:
Mets DFA struggling outfielder Darin Ruf
Bradford Doolittle / ESPN:
How Padres erased 30-game deficit to Dodgers (on paper)
Discussion: Daily News
Derrick Goold / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
What change Nolan Gorman made to get back in the swing, launch himself as Cardinals DH
Discussion: Viva El Birdos
 Earlier Picks: 
Derrick Goold / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Tyler O'Neill ranges over to claim center field. Real race is just starting: Cardinals Extra
Bob Nightengale / USA Today:
Roger Clemens talks MLB's new rules, Baseball Hall of Fame and father-son strikeout record
Discussion: New Jersey Online
 

 
From WeSmirch:

Jessica Yellin / News Not Noise:
The News Not Noise Letter: Amy Schumer “Be Relentless When Fighting for Your Health.”

Benjamin VanHoose / People:
Kal Penn to Play Anna Nicole Smith's Doctor in Movie About Model's Shocking Death at 39

Dave Quinn / People:
Marlo Hampton Departs The Real Housewives of Atlanta Ahead of Season 16: ‘A Fresh Start’ (Exclusive)

 
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