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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.

Mark DeRosa said last week that one of his most important jobs as United States manager during the World Baseball Classic is making sure his players understand the tournament is a competition, not an exhibition. Just two games in, he sort of undercut his own message. DeRosa said he wants nothing more for the U.S. than to defend its 2017 WBC title. But he's also not going to do anything to jeopardize players' health — particularly pitchers. DeRosa had to make difficult pitching decisions multiple times during Mexico's 11-5 win over the U.S. on Sunday. The WBC has limits on how much pitchers are used. Major League Baseball teams also want WBC managers to be careful with high-priced pitchers.

The NBA's West is an absolute mess, and the middle of the pack — the race for the last two guaranteed playoff spots and the four berths into the play-in tournament — is as muddled and murky as possible.

The San Diego Padres are flirting with the idea of beginning the season with a six-man pitching rotation. Settling on an opening day starter may not be as easy a decision for manager Bob Melvin. With Joe Musgrove sidelined by a toe injury and Yu Darvish pitching for Japan in the World Baseball Classic, Melvin is exploring options that could include Blake Snell or Michael Wacha. Melvin is considering a six-man rotation because the Padres will begin the season with a stretch of 24 games in 25 days.

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William Byron won his second straight NASCAR Cup Series race, taking advantage of a pair of late cautions to give Hendrick Motorsports a victory in overtime at Phoenix Raceway. Byron’s No. 24 Chevrolet got a great start in overtime with two laps left, and just like he did a week earlier at Las Vegas, he overtook teammate Kyle Larson for the win. 

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Kevin Harvick has had a big share of his best Cup Series moments at Phoenix Raceway. And Sunday is one of two chances to get win No. 10 in the desert and join some elite company before he retires after this season. Harvick is seeking to become just the sixth driver in NASCAR Cup Series to win 10 times at one track. Others who have done that include Richard Petty, Darrell Waltrip, Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt and David Pearson.

Two men who were in a Phoenix hotel lobby the night that Hall of Fame wide receiver Michael Irvin was accused of misconduct with a female employee say they didn't see him do anything wrong and that his brief interaction with the woman appeared friendly. Phil Watkins of Australia and Bryn Davis of Philadelphia appeared Wednesday at a news conference by video link with Irvin and his attorney. Irvin has filed a $100 million defamation lawsuit. He alleges a false claim led to his removal from the hotel and from the NFL Network's Super Bowl coverage.

Andy Reid already proved he can win the big game in Kansas City after coming up short several times throughout his 14 seasons in Philadelphia. Leading the Chiefs to a victory over the Eagles in the Super Bowl on Sunday would further cement his Hall of Fame credentials and add to his legacy. 

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As the Kansas City Chiefs return to the Super Bowl, the movement to change their name and logo will be there again. Arizona to Rally Against Native Mascots is planning to demonstrate outside State Farm Stadium in the Phoenix suburb of Glendale as the game plays out.

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First it was Kyrie Irving to Dallas. Then came Kevin Durant to Phoenix. The breakup in Brooklyn is rebuilding some contenders in the West. Trade deadline day in the NBA arrived Thursday with news of a blockbuster. The Nets had agreed overnight to deal Durant to the Suns for a package that included Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Jae Crowder, four first-round picks and additional draft compensation. More moves figure to be made before the 3 p.m. EST deadline.

Brittney Griner texted her good friend Diana Taurasi on Tuesday morning asking how the USA Basketball training camp was going. Griner was back in Arizona, choosing to skip the camp in Minnesota so she can be with her wife and recover from her time in a Russian jail. 

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Breanna Stewart is coming to the New York Liberty. The most coveted free agent this offseason, who won the WNBA MVP award in 2018, announced on social media that she was going to New York with a photo of her in a Liberty shirt on Wednesday. Wednesday was the first day that free agents could sign. 

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NASCAR has banned the "Hail Melon" move Ross Chastain used last year at Martinsville to earn a spot in the championship race. Chastain last October mashed the gas and deliberately smashed into the wall so that the energy would speed his car past his rivals. NASCAR said Tuesday the move would draw a penalty in 2023 under a previous rule about compromising safety. It was part of a series of competition tweaks for 2023 that includes the removal of an automatic four-race suspension to a crew chief if a tire comes off a car.

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