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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Josh Donaldson is talking about all the things he did during his workout program, and it's pretty much everything you expect until he gets to the middle of the list. "Some toe exercises," Donaldson said. Wait. Toe exercises? "Everything starts from the bottom, the ground, right?" Donaldson said Thursday at Braves spring training. I suppose it does, when he puts it that ...

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SAN DIEGO - Let's start with curses, which have a colorful niche in baseball history. These days, the baseball world gives curses no credence due to the Cubs and Red Sox finally winning a World Series. No one gnashes teeth over a billy goat's exile from a tavern, or that Babe Ruth was traded. Or, in this little slice of the baseball universe, that the Padres failed to pour holy water on home ...

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MESA, Ariz. - Joe Maddon's quest to communicate with his millennial players was off to a fine start less than two weeks into Cubs camp. "Very groovy," Maddon said after Wednesday's workout. I think Maddon meant "on fleek," though I didn't have my baby boomer-to-millennial translation guide handy. Either way, Maddon is diving headfirst into his new reality - speaking the millennials' language - ...

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SURPRISE, Ariz. - Royals pitcher Ian Kennedy and left fielder Alex Gordon aren't ready to sit back in rocking chairs and have nostalgic conversations that included phrases like "we were something weren't we." They each feel like they can still be premier players, and the Royals certainly need more out of them than moral support and words of wisdom. Kennedy, 34, and Gordon, 35, are the elder ...

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CLEARWATER, Fla. - The Phillies are standing at the front door of being all in, and they have the 11-letter password: B-R-Y-C-E-H-A-R-P-E-R. Sign the 26-year-old, free-agent outfielder, and listen for the phones in the ticket office to start ringing. That is exactly how managing partner John Middleton, team president Andy MacPhail, and general manager Matt Klentak should be viewing their ...