Update on the latest sports



Ohtani voted AL MVP for 2-way season, Harper wins NL honor

NEW YORK (AP) — Shohei Ohtani (SHOH’-hay oh-TAH’-nee) was unanimiously voted American League MVP for a two-way season not seen since Babe Ruth, and Bryce Harper earned the National League honor for the second time.

Ohtani hit .257 with 46 homers, 100 RBIs and a .965 OPS as the Los Angeles Angels’ full-time designated hitter. As a pitcher, he went 9-2 with a 3.18 ERA in 23 starts with 156 strikeouts and 44 walks in 130 1/3 innings. It was the first full season on the mound for the 27-year-old right-hander following Tommy John surgery in 2019.

Ohtani received all 30 first-place votes in voting by members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Toronto first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was second, and Blue Jays infielder Marcus Semien was third.

Harper received 17 of 30 first-place votes from a separate panel. Washington outfielder Juan Soto was second, while San Diego shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. came in third.

Harper overcame getting hit in the face with a 97 mph pitch in April to bat .309 with 35 homers for Philadelphia. The 29-year-old led the major leagues with a .465 slugging percentage and 1.044 OPS, tied for the lead with 42 doubles and had 84 RBIs.

But the Phillies missed the playoffs for the third straight season since he signed a $330 million, 13-year contract.


Commissioner signals possible lockout

CHICAGO (AP) — Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred says owners are focused on reaching a labor deal, but he is signaling they likely will lock out players if the current deal expires Dec. 1 without a new agreement.

Manfred says “an offseason lockout that moves the process forward is different than a labor dispute that costs games.”

Talks between owners and players on a new labor deal have been going on since spring but have lacked momentum toward an agreement. The current deal expires Dec. 1.

Manfred says, in the event of a labor dispute, he’d like to “minimize the prospect of actual disruption of the season.”


Berríos staying with Blue Jays; Rockies, catcher Elias Díaz agree

UNDATED (AP) — Two months with the Toronto Blue Jays was enough to make José Berríos decide not to try free agency next year.

Berríos has finalized a $131 million, seven-year deal to stay with the Blue Jays. A two-time All Star, Berríos says his decision was simplified by getting a brief taste of life in Toronto after the Blue Jays acquired him from Minnesota on July 30.

In other baseball news:

— The Colorado Rockies have agreed to a $14.5 million, three-year contract with Elias Díaz. The 31-year-old catcher hit .246 last season with a career-best 18 homers, which was tied for third-most among catchers in the National League. He also threw out 42.1% of base stealers, a mark only behind Salvador Pérez.

— The Arizona Diamondbacks have hired Brent Strom to be their pitching coach. The 73-year-old has been a pitching coach in the big leagues for 11 seasons, most recently with the Houston Astros from 2014 to 2021. The Astros made the World Series three times during his tenure.

— Most minor league players will get their own beds provided in team housing under a new Major League Baseball policy. MLB estimates it will apply to 90% of minor leaguers, all except those making $100,000 or more or with major league contracts.


St. Bonaventure beats Boise St.

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Kyle Lofton had 17 points and seven assists, Jaren Holmes added 14 points and 10 rebounds, and No. 22 St. Bonaventure beat Boise State 67-61 in the Charleston Classic.

St. Bonaventure trailed 59-57 with 5:40 remaining after Boise State guard Marcus Shaver Jr. hit a 3-pointer. But the Bonnies locked down defensively and held Boise State to 1-for-9 shooting after that.

In other top 25 men’s college basketball action:

— Colin Castleton had 19 points and 10 rebounds – his second straight double-double – and No. 24 Florida dominated Milwaukee 81-45. The Gators issued 39 credentials spanning 22 NBA teams, all of them on hand to see Milwaukee’s freshman star Patrick Baldwin Jr., a projected lottery pick. The 6-foot-9 guard had 13 points on 6-of-15 shooting with three rebounds, two blocks, two steals and an assist.


Hall of Famer Jim Calhoun retires from D-III Saint Joseph

UNDATED (AP) — Jim Calhoun is retiring as men’s basketball coach of Division III Saint Joseph. The 79-year-old Hall of Famer spent more than four years helping the school established a men’s basketball program after it began admitting male students.

Calhoun was the longtime coach at UConn, where he won three national titles. He ends his career with a record of 920-397. He went 47-17 at Saint Joseph, including a conference title.


Bucs WR Brown accused of obtaining fake vaccination card

UNDATED (AP) — A Los Angeles chef who told a newspaper that Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver Antonio Brown obtained a fake COVID-19 vaccination card also said the player owes him $10,000.

The Tampa Bay Times reported Steven Ruiz provided the newspaper with a screenshot of a July 2 text message in which Brown’s girlfriend asked the former live-in chef if he could obtain Johnson & Johnson vaccination cards for the player. Ruiz chef said he was unable to find a fake card but that several weeks later he spotted two cards on a dining room table that Brown said were purchased for the player and his girlfriend.

The Buccaneers say their entire roster is fully vaccinated and that all vaccination cards were reviewed by team personnel and “no irregularities were observed.”

In other NFL news:

— Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield returned to practice after missing one day to rest an assortment of injuries. He is dealing with shoulder, foot and knee issues. However, he’s expected to play Sunday when the Browns host the winless Detroit Lions.

— Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph is preparing as if he will start against the Los Angeles Chargers. Starter Ben Roethlisberger remains on the COVID-19 list after testing positive last week, but could play if he is cleared in time for kickoff. Offensive coordinator Matt Canada says he is in contact with Roethlisberger regularly and that Roethlisberger has been in attendance for virtual meetings with the offensive staff.

— Tennessee Titans wide receiver A.J. Brown seemed to have everything going his way in 2020. He was having his best season yet in the NFL on the way to earning his first Pro Bowl honor. But Brown now says he was battling so hard with depression that he thought of killing himself. He shared a video on social media Nov. 12 on the one-year anniversary of that dark moment, encouraging people to ask for help. Brown told reporters that is why he finally spoke up.


Miller is back with Buckeyes

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio State quarterback Jack Miller III is back on the team. He was reinstated after his drunken-driving charge from earlier this month was reduced to a minor misdemeanor traffic offense. The redshirt freshman pleaded guilty and agreed to pay a $150 fine and court costs.


Barty finishes year as WTA’s No. 1 for 3rd consecutive time

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Wimbledon champion Ash Barty has finished No. 1 in the WTA singles rankings for the third consecutive season.

The 25-year-old from Australia joins Serena Williams, Steffi Graf, Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert as the only women to lead the year-end rankings three straight times. This week is Barty’s 95th in a row atop the WTA and 102nd overall. Barty’s title at the All England Club in July was her second at a Grand Slam tournament. She also won the 2019 French Open. She went 42-8 this season.

Katerina Siniakova topped the doubles rankings for the second time.

Categories: National Sports