NEW YORK — Kirk Gibson and Joe Maddon won Manager of the Year awards Wednesday – one for overseeing a worst-to-first turnaround that lasted all season, the other after a frantic playoff push in the final month.
Gibson was a clear choice in the NL for guiding the Arizona Diamondbacks to the West title. A former MVP as a rough-and-tumble outfielder, Gibson was honored in his first full season as a big league manager. Maddon won the AL award for the second time. He was an easy pick after helping the Tampa Bay Rays overcame a nine-game deficit to beat out Boston for the wild card spot on the last day
Gibson and the Diamondbacks went 94-68, a year after he took over in midseason as Arizona went 65-97. Ron Roenicke of the NL Central champion Brewers was second and Tony La Russa of the World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals was third.
AP: MLB trying to force Astros out of National League
HOUSTON — Major League Baseball told Houston businessman Jim Crane it would not approve his purchase of the Astros unless he agreed to move the team to the American League, the Associated Press has learned.
Crane reportedly agreed to the move in exchange for a drop in the sales price valued earlier this year at $680 million. The person who spoke to the AP could not confirm the sales price.
Brewers weighing options with Fielder in free agency
MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Brewers are considering what approach to take as star slugger Prince Fielder tests the free agent market.
General manager Doug Melvin has plans, with or without Fielder. He says the Brewers, who won the NL Central title in 2011, are balancing the finances of Fielder’s potential salary versus filling holes for 2012.
Fielder, 27, hit .299 with 38 home runs and 120 RBI this past season. He has hit at least 30 homers in each season since 2007, when he blasted a career-high 50. Fielder and St. Louis star Albert Pujols are the biggest names in the free agent market this season.
NEW YORK — David Wright understands why the New York Mets are open to listening to trade offers. After the Mets finished their third straight losing season, general manager Sandy Alderson said he couldn’t be certain any player would be back next year but he expected Wright would remain with the Mets.
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