NEW YORK (AP) — Blake Snell of the Tampa Bay Rays has won his first AL Cy Young Award in a tight race over past winners Justin Verlander and Corey Kluber.
Snell got 17 first-place votes and 169 points in voting announced Wednesday by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America to 13 firsts and 154 points for Verlander. Boston’s Chris Sale was third with 59 points.
The left-hander nicknamed Snellzilla led the majors with 21 victories, and his 1.89 ERA was tops in the AL. The 25-year-old left-hander pitched just 180 2/3 innings, 33 1/3 fewer than Verlander, but his dominance was enough to sway the electorate.
Verlander led the AL with 290 strikeouts while going 16-9 with a 2.52 ERA for AL West champion Houson. This is his third second-place finish since winning the Cy Young and MVP in 2011 with Detroit.
Kluber was attempting to win his second straight Cy Young and third overall. He went 20-7 with a 2.89 ERA for AL Central champion Cleveland and led the AL with 215 innings.
The NL prize was to be announced later Wednesday.
Browns interim coach Williams will get shot at full-time gig
UNDATE (AP) — Browns general manager John Dorsey says interim coach Gregg Williams will be interviewed to be the team’s next coach.
Williams took over when Hue Jackson was fired on Oct. 29 after winning three games in two-plus seasons. Dorsey has been pleased with how the team has performed under Williams, their fiery defensive coordinator. The 60-year-old Williams coached Buffalo in 2001-03.
Dorsey said Williams deserves the chance to be considered for the full-time job. The Browns have split their two games under Williams, and Dorsey has been impressed with how the team has been focused and disciplined the past two weeks.
Elsewhere around the NFL:
— The Bills continued shuffling their roster during their bye week by signing Deonte Thompson. The seventh-year player was released by the Dallas Cowboys a week ago. Thompson returns for his third stint with Buffalo a year after he had 27 catches for 430 yards and a touchdown in 11 games. He also appeared in one game for the Bills in 2014.
NFL-SAINTS-WILL SMITH SHOT-APPEAL
The Latest: Judges hear arguments for killer of ex-NFL star
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A lawyer says a manslaughter conviction should be overturned for the man who fatally shot retired New Orleans Saints Star Will Smith in 2016.
Louisiana’s 4th Circuit Court of Appeal heard arguments Wednesday in the case of Cardell Hayes.
Hayes is serving a 25 year sentence for killing Smith and wounding Smith’s wife during a confrontation following a traffic collision.
Hayes insisted he fired in self-defense.
Among defense attorney Paul Barker’s arguments is that someone living in the area of the shooting contacted the defense after trial to say he believes he heard two guns fired at the time Smith was killed.
Prosecutors say there were no witnesses or physical evidence to indicate Smith ever held or fired a gun.
The appellate judges did not indicate when they would rule.
Later Le’Veon; Steelers move on with Bell out of the mix
(Eds: With AP Photos.)
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Steelers are eager to begin life without Le’Veon Bell including his teammates.
The star running back’s time in Pittsburgh is likely over after he declined to sign his one-year franchise tender by the deadline.
Bell’s teammates invaded his locker after practice, helping themselves to whatever they wanted — or at least whatever fit — with Bell’s career in Pittsburgh all but over. It wasn’t personal. Just business. A celebration of sorts to honor — they hope anyway — the last time they’ll have to answer questions about Bell’s unorthodox approach, one that included leaving his teammates in the dark about his plans.
The Steelers have survived just fine without him while ripping off five straight wins heading into a trip to Jacksonville. Second-year back James Conner is thriving in Bell’s absence, ranking second in the league in yards from scrimmage.
Graduation rates for NCAA athletes reach new high of 88 pct.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Graduation rates for NCAA athletes have reached a record high of 88 percent, according to data released by college sports’ governing body.
Graduation Success Rate data released Wednesday by the NCAA showed a 1-percentage point increase from 2017, with similar increases among men’s basketball players (3 percentage points to 85) and FBS football players (1 percentage point to 79).
Data was compiled for college athletes who entered school in 2011.
Graduation rates for black athletes were up 2 percentage points to 79 percent. Black men’s basketball players, who reached an all-time GSR of 78 percent last year, increased an additional 4 points in 2018 to 82 percent.
Since a series of academic reforms were passed by the NCAA from 2003-07, graduation rates for athletes have increased from 78 percent to 88 percent.
Butler’s 76ers debut highlights 11-game NBA schedule
UNDATED (AP) — Jimmy Butler is expected to make his debut with the Philadelphia 76ers tonight, when they play the Magic in Orlando.
Speaking to reporters yesterday, Butler maintained he’s not concerned about getting enough touches on an offense that features Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, JJ Redick and Markelle Fultz. Butler says he’s “great at sharing the ball, moving without the ball,” adding that if he feels he needs the ball, he’ll “go steal it” or “go get an offensive rebound.” He says with a lineup like the 76ers’, he expects it will be “easier than having to create all the time in iso situations and off the pick-and-roll.”
Elsewhere are around the NBA, Cleveland will look to secure just its third win of the season when the Cavaliers visit Washington tonight. The Wizards are coming off back-to-back wins, but that doubled their win total for the season. They’re off to a rough 4-9 start. The LeBron-less Cavs are 2-11, matching the Phoenix Suns for the worst record in the NBA.
Speaking of the Suns, they’ll get a visit tonight from the San Antonio Spurs, who are currently tied with Memphis for the Southwest Division lead.
Memphis is in Milwaukee tonight to play the 10-3 Bucks.
In earlier starts, Boston hosts the Bulls, Detroit visits Toronto and Brooklyn is home against the Heat.
New Orleans is at Minnesota, the New York Knicks are in Oklahoma City, and Utah is at Dallas.
The late start has LeBron and his L.A. Lakers hosting another 10-3 club, the Portland Trail Blazers.
Villanova-Michigan in early clash
UNDATED (AP) — The headline matchup in college basketball this week is tonight, when No. 8 Villanova hosts No. 18 Michigan.
It’s a re-match (of sorts) of last year’s national championship game. That one turned out to be the final stop in the Wildcats’ romp through the postseason, ending with a second NCAA title in three seasons.
The top team in the polls, Duke is also hosting a Michigan team: Eastern Michigan.
No. 9 Auburn faces Mississippi College, No. 10 Kentucky is on the court against North Dakota, while No. 11 Michigan State plays Louisiana-Monroe.
No. 19 Clemson takes on Sam Houston State, and No. 24 Marquette is at Indiana.
Stanley Cup champs roll into Winnipeg
UNDATED (AP) — The Washington Capitals have had an up and down start to their defense of the Stanley Cup. But after starting a four-game road trip with a win in Minnesota last night, they’ll be right back on the ice tonight in Winnipeg, looking to get on a roll.
Elsewhere, the St. Louis Blues visit the Blackhawks in Chicago, Colorado hosts the Bruins, and the Anaheim Ducks pay a visit to Las Vegas, to play the Golden Knights.
Penguins extend GM Rutherford, swap forwards with Kings
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Penguins extended general manager Jim Rutherford’s contract through the 2021-22 season, and shortly after that announcement came news that he’d completed another trade.
The Pens send forward Carl Hagelin to the Los Angeles Kings for forward Tanner Pearson.
The 30-year-old Hagelin played a pivotal role in Pittsburgh’s run to consecutive Stanley Cups in 2016 and 2017, but is off to a sluggish start for Pittsburgh this season, with just one goal and two assists in 16 games. Hagelin is making $4 million this season and is scheduled to become a free agent next summer.
The 26-year-old Pearson has had an even slower start, with just one assist in 17 games for Los Angeles. But he is signed through the 2020-21 season. He is signed through the 2020-21 season, and his contract carries an average annual value of $3.75 million.
Meanwhile, Penguins captain Sidney Crosby skipped practice while being evaluated for what’s being described as an upper-body injury.
Indians trade INF Gonzalez to Pirates in 5-player swap
CLEVELAND (AP) — The Indians traded one of their extra pieces. They’re keeping their bigger ones — for now.
Cleveland began what could be a busy offseason on Wednesday by dealing versatile infielder Erik Gonzalez to the Pittsburgh Pirates as part of a five-player swap.
The AL Central champions sent the 27-year-old Gonzalez, who appeared in 81 games for the Indians last season, along with minor league right-handers Tahnaj Thomas and Dante Mendoza to the Pirates for outfielder Jordan Luplow and infielder Max Moroff.
Gonzalez batted .265 with one homer and 16 RBIs last season for Cleveland, which signed the Dominican native in 2009. And while he filled a valuable utility role, he was not going to crack the starting lineup behind All-Stars Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez.
The negligible move gives the Indians needed depth in the outfield, and it could be the first of many deals this winter.
Cleveland has not dismissed speculation it may be willing to trade prominent players, including ace Corey Kluber and right-hander Carlos Carrasco.
Former Wimbledon finalist Radwanska retires from tennis
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Former Wimbledon finalist Agnieszka Radwanska (ahg-nee-ESH’-kuh rahd-VAHN’-skuh) says she is retiring from tennis after a 13-year career.
The 29-year-old Pole, who reached a career-high ranking of No. 2, says she is “no longer able to train and play the way I used to.”
Radwanska won 20 WTA titles in her career. She reached the Wimbledon final in 2012, losing to Serena Williams in three sets.
DraftKings, Resorts fire latest shot in sport book arms race
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — DraftKings and Resorts Casino are firing the latest shot in New Jersey’s sports book arms race, with a full-fledged sports betting facility due to open in a week.
The two companies told The Associated Press it will open on Nov. 20 near where patrons walk in off the Boardwalk.
It is the latest ambitious offering in a scramble by New Jersey casinos, racetracks and bookmakers to have not only an online operation, but also a game-day physical facility to attract and hold fans as they bet, eat and drink.
Six of the seven Atlantic City casinos that offer sports betting are operating in smaller temporary quarters with plans to expand to full-blown sports books in the coming months; the Ocean Resort casino opened with a full sports book in June.
OLYMPICS 2026 – CALGARY BID
Majority of Calgary voters say ‘no thanks’ to 2026 Olympics
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — A majority of Calgary voters are saying “no thanks” to a potential bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics, and while the vote is nonbinding, the future of the bid appears bleak.
Residents voted Tuesday on whether they wanted to pursue an Olympic bid, and 56 percent of voters chose “no.”
Unofficial results showed that out of 767,734 eligible voters, 304,774 cast ballots and 171,750 of those voted against the Olympic bid. The vote is expected to influence the city council, which has the final say on whether to move forward.
An end of the bid by Calgary, which hosted the Winter Olympics in 1988, would leave Stockholm and a combined bid from two Italian cities as the only remaining contenders for the 2026 games. The future of Stockholm’s bid is also uncertain because the local government has balked at spending taxpayer money on the event.
The Canadian Olympic Committee said in a statement it was disappointed by the results.