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    Baseball has transformed in the 145 days since Dusty Baker and the Houston Astros sealed the franchise’s second title in six seasons. As New York Mets owner Steve Cohen dominated an offseason that saw billions spent, the sport braced for a new world that includes pitch clocks, bigger bases, limits on defensive shifts and pickoff throws, and an overarching attempt to reverse decades of lengthening games and the Analytics Era domination of the Three True Outcomes — strikeouts, walks and home runs. 

      The Angels could use a bit of swagger. They could use an October too. Yes or no, Perry Minasian: Is this a playoff team? "We'll find out," Minasian said. Minasian, the Angels' general manager, earned respect throughout the sport for a second consecutive winter of guiding owner Arte Moreno away from the brightest stars in the free-agent constellation and focusing instead on desperately needed ...

        Anthony Volpe is getting an opportunity to live a lifelong dream. The 21-year-old who grew up idolizing Hall of Famer Derek Jeter will be the New York Yankees' opening day shortstop after winning the job in spring training. Manager Aaron Boone, general manager Brian Cashman, hitting coach Dillon Lawson and bench coach Carlos Mendoza delivered the news after a 6-2 Grapefruit League win over the Toronto Blue Jays.

          New York Yankees right-hander Luis Severino has a low-grade lat strain. Manager Aaron Boone expressed optimism this wouldn’t be a long-term issue but acknowledged that Severino “most likely” would get placed on the injured list to start the season. The Yankees already won’t have right-hander Frankie Montas or left-hander Carlos Rodón for the start of the season. Rodón has a left forearm strain. Montas is recovering from shoulder surgery.

            The Trevor Bauer era in Japan began Friday at an introductory news conference, where he pulled a blue and white Yokohama DeNA BayStars jersey over a white shirt and red tie. he 2020 Cy Young Award winner is in Japan on a one-year deal that could let him prove himself and return to Major League Baseball, where he was unable to find work this season even after an arbitrator reduced his unprecedented 324-game suspension for violating the league’s domestic violence and sexual assault policy.

              Bud Selig fouled a lot of pitches off his face and crotch in his 22-year tenure as MLB commissioner, but his baby that is the WBC is a big league double. Cliched baseball puns aside, credit to Bud for the vision. Credit the flag for captivating our interest. The former owner of the Milwaukee Brewers, who was the MLB commissioner from 1992 to 2015, lorded over some of the game’s nastiest scars, ...

                A trio of NL pennant hopefuls are dealing with injuries to some pretty important players. St. Louis Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright has a groin injury and Atlanta Braves closer Raisel Iglesias an inflamed shoulder. Philadelphia first baseman Rhys Hoskins hurt his left knee Thursday in a spring training game while fielding a grounder and was carted off the field.

                SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Standing an athletic 6-foot-3, Ross Stripling wants you to know that he can dunk. This is important because, as Stripling says with a chuckle, “I don’t have PTSD.” And wouldn’t you, if one attempt went so awry that it put your leg in a cast? There is one lingering effect of Stripling’s ill-fated dunk attempt, now nearly a decade and a half in the past: It’s what he credits ...

                Shohei Ohtani emerged from the bullpen and fanned Los Angeles Angels teammate Mike Trout for the final out in a matchup the whole baseball world wanted to see, leading Japan over the defending champion United States 3-2 for its first World Baseball Classic title since 2009.

                The Philadelphia Phillies aren't putting Bryce Harper on the 60-day injured list at the start of the season. That leaves open the possibility for Harper to return to their lineup much sooner than the All-Star break in mid-July. But that doesn't necessarily mean the slugger will return quicker than expected from reconstructive right elbow surgery. Plus more news from around the league on Tuesday.

                Shohei Ohtani sparked a ninth-inning rally with a leadoff double, and Munetaka Murakami hit a walk-off, two-run double to lift Japan over Mexico 6-5 and into the World Baseball Classic final. Japan will face the defending champion United States in Tuesday's championship game. Ohtani went 2 for 4. The Los Angeles Angels star scored in the seventh when Masataka Yoshida hit a tying, three-run homer off reliever JoJo Romero.

                The Atlanta Braves have apparently decided who will replace the departed Dansby Swanson as their starting shortstop. It's not who most people expected it to be. Vaughn Grissom and Braden Shewmake have been optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett. That leaves utility infielder Orlando Arcia as the likely replacement for Swanson after his departure in free agency for a $177 million, seven-year deal with the Chicago Cubs. 

                Hundreds gathered outside Miami Marlins' home ballpark in Little Havana on Sunday to protest for the Cuban national baseball team played the United States in the semifinals of the World Baseball Classic. It's the first time the Cuban team has played in Miami, a landing spot for many who fled the country to escape the Soviet-style communist government of late leader Fidel Castro. The Cuban team is comprised of major league stars who defected from the island nation along with current Cubans, who are technically government employees. While some fans wanted to separate sports from politics, others wanted no part.


                Houston Astros star Jose Altuve has a broken right thumb and needs surgery after getting hurt in Venezuela’s 9-7 quarterfinal loss to the United States at the World Baseball Classic. The second baseman fell to the field after he was struck by the 95.9 mph sinker from Colorado reliever Daniel Bard in the fifth inning Saturday night. 

                Sergio Romo will retire as a member of the San Francisco Giants. He helped the franchise win three World Series titles in 2010, 2012 and 2014. The 2013 All-Star was an integral part of the team's bullpen from 2008 to 2016. He also pitched for the Twins, Athletics, Rays, Dodgers, Mariners, Marlins and Blue Jays. Romo signed a minor league deal with an invite to big-league spring training. He'll officially retire during San Francisco's final exhibition game on March 27 when the Giants host the A's at Oracle Park.

                Many of Major League Baseball’s biggest stars like Mike Trout, Mookie Betts and Shohei Ohtani aren’t playing in spring training these days. They're in the World Baseball Classic. And people are watching. The fifth WBC tournament drew just over one million fans in the first round, up from about 500,000 in 2017.

                DETROIT — It's a crisis, to be sure. But the sky's not falling. At least, not yet. That's the biggest takeaway from the Bally Sports kerfuffle, with the regional-sports network's parent company, Diamond Sports Group, officially filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this week. The move has been a long time coming, as Diamond — which owns 19 RSNs, covering 42 teams, including the ...

                The start of the season can’t come soon enough for teams looking to keep their pitching staffs as healthy as possible. A tough spring for pitchers continued Thursday with the announcements that New York Mets star closer Edwin Díaz and Washington Nationals prospect Cade Cavalli were expected to miss the entire season.

                Shohei Ohtani pitched shutout ball into the fifth inning and sparked a four-run third with a bunt single, leading Japan over Italy 9-3 and into its fifth straight World Baseball Classic semifinal. Boston’s Masataka Yoshida homered and drove in the go-ahead run with a grounder, giving him a tournament-leading 10 RBIs.

                Michael Conforto’s once-ailing shoulder appears healthy and the veteran slugger is back to mashing baseballs. The Giants have eased the 30-year-old back on the field after he missed all of 2022 following right shoulder surgery. But even in limited at-bats in the Cactus League, he’s hit four homers, which was tied for the spring lead through Wednesday’s games. 

                Pittsburgh Pirates manager Derek Shelton handed Mitch Keller the opening day assignment and a celebratory bottle of bubbly. Shelton broke the news to the 26-year-old right-hander that he'll get the nod when Pittsburgh begins the season at Cincinnati on March 30. In a video posted on the Pirates' Twitter feed, Shelton and Keller sat down in the manager's office and began discussing the right-hander's side session. Shelton asked how many pitches he threw, and then asked Keller how many he thinks he'll throw on the 30th. Keller asked what the 30th was and the manager replied, "opening day."

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