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4:40 PM ET, February 2, 2024

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 Top News: 
Baseball America:
2024 MLB Farm System Talent Rankings  —  Image credit: Jackson Holliday (Photo by Isaiah Jones)  —  For the second consecutive year, the Orioles enter the season with the best farm system in baseball.  —  Baltimore is built for the long run.  The Orioles are coming off a 101-win season …
RELATED:
Kiley McDaniel / ESPN:
2024 MLB farm system rankings: Prospect insights, predictions  —  Now that we have ranked the top 100 MLB prospects heading into the 2024 season, let's see how all 30 major league farm systems compare.  —  While it's nice to have baseball's best farm system, it is still one degree removed …
Discussion: True Blue LA and Lone Star Ball
Kiley McDaniel / ESPN:
Top 100 MLB prospects for 2024, ranked by Kiley McDaniel  —  It's that time of year again when we rank the top prospects in Major League Baseball, some of whom will be in the majors in 2024 and others who will rise through the minors during the upcoming season.
Brendan Coffey / Sportico:
Theo Epstein Returns to Fenway Sports as Part Owner, Advisor  —  One-time Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein is returning to the organization, taking part ownership of Fenway Sports Group and joining in the role of senior advisor, FSG will announce Friday morning.
Morning Call:
Groundhog Day: Punxsutawney Phil doesn't see his shadow, forecasting early spring  —  Punxsutawney Phil didn't see his shadow Friday, predicting an early spring from Gobbler's Knob, Pennsylvania, the scene of the country's largest and best known Groundhog Day celebration.
RELATED:
John Misinco / Morning Call:
Replay: Groundhog Day 2024: Did Phil see his shadow?  —  UPDATE: Groundhog Day: Punxsutawney Phil doesn't see his shadow, forecasting early spring  —  Groundhog Day has arrived, and all eyes are on Punxsutawney Phil as he makes his annual weather prediction Friday morning.
RELATED:
ESPN:
Reports: Orioles to be sold to group led by David Rubenstein
John Ourand / Puck:
The Orioles Prepare for Private Equity Control
New York Times:
Tartine's Country Bread  —  2 weeks (or 2 days with active starter)  —  The country bread from Tartine Bakery in San Francisco has reached cult status among passionate bakers, and deservedly so.  Based on traditional principles, Mr. Robertson has developed a way to get a tangy …
RELATED:
Tiney Ricciardi / Denver Post:
Denver baker demystifies baking sourdough bread at altitude  —  Ismael De Sousa, owner of Reunion bakery, offers tips for successfully baking in Colorado's unique climate  —  For the record, baker Ismael De Sousa isn't a fan of the word “sourdough.”  —  “I think this is the only place …
Discussion: Mercury News and Reading Eagle
Will Sammon / The Athletic:
Mets close to agreement with reliever Jake Diekman: Sources  —  The New York Mets are close to an agreement with left-handed reliever Jake Diekman, league sources told The Athletic on Thursday.  —  Diekman would fit the profile the Mets were said to be looking for in their bullpen …
RELATED:
Jeff Passan / ESPN:
Orioles acquire former Cy Young winner Corbin Burnes from Brewers  —  MLB, Baltimore Orioles, Milwaukee Brewers  —  The Baltimore Orioles have acquired former Cy Young winner Corbin Burnes in a trade with the Milwaukee Brewers, the teams announced Thursday, giving up infielder Joey Ortiz …
Jake Fischer / Yahoo Sports:
This year's NBA trade market hindered by a lack of significant activity  —  Less than a week remains before the NBA's trade deadline, and yet news and noise around the league has been few and far between.  The Houston Rockets trading the injured Victor Oladipo and his expiring contract …
Jeff Agrest / Chicago Sun Times:
Marquee Sports Network will broadcast majority of Cubs spring-training games remotely  —  The lead tandem of Jon Sciambi and Jim Deshaies will be in Arizona for the first weekend of games at the end of this month.  Most of the remaining games will be called remotely.
USA Today:
Predictions for MLB's top remaining 2024 free agents: Who will sign Cy Young winner?  —  As the calendar flips to February with spring training just weeks away, some of Major League Baseball's best free agents remained unsigned.  —  It's been a relatively quiet winter (new Dodgers Shohei Ohtani …
RELATED:
Mark Feinsand / MLB.com:
Let's build a team from best remaining free agents
 
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 More News: 
Pete Caldera / NorthJersey.com:
As Yankees claim reliever Matt Gage, what it means for Wandy Peralta and their next move
Associated Press:
Donations pour in to replace destroyed Jackie Robinson statue
 Earlier Picks: 
Associated Press:
Guardians' home opener on collision course with solar eclipse
Discussion: baseballmusings.com
John Metcalfe / Mercury News:
3 great cocktail recipes for your Super Bowl LVIII party (plus mocktail options)
 

 
From WeSmirch:

Jackie Fields / People:
Brooke Shields Rocks Crocs at 2024 Tony Awards After Foot Surgery: 'I Couldn't Do This in Heels' (Exclusive)

Jackie Lindenberg / Daily Mail:
Jay-Z performs at the Tony Awards with Alicia Keys but SKIPS appearing on stage as shocked fans react: ‘This was not on my bingo card’

Waiss Aramesh / Rolling Stone:
Sabrina Carpenter Gave Us the Song of the Summer. She's Got a Plan for All Seasons

 
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