NEW YORK (AP)Terry Francona of the Cleveland Guardians and Buck Showalter of the New York Mets trace their beginnings as major league managers to a time when starting pitchers still threw complete games, defensive shifts were rare and stats like WAR, WHIP, OPS and FIP weren’t part of baseball’s everyday lingo.
Times have changed, but the veteran skippers keep winning games.
Francona and Showalter were voted Managers of the Year on Tuesday night, improving their already sparkling resumes.
Showalter – who narrowly won the National League award in a wide-open race – is just the third person to take the prize four times and the first to do it with four different franchises. He won in the AL with the New York Yankees in 1994, Texas Rangers in 2004 and Baltimore Orioles in 2014.
The other four-time winners are Hall of Famers Bobby Cox and Tony La Russa.
Showalter received eight of 30 first-place votes, 10 second-place votes and 77 total points, edging Los Angeles Dodgers skipper Dave Roberts, who finished second. Roberts also earned eight-first-place votes but had just four second-place votes for 57 points.
NEW YORK (AP) – Former major league outfielder Yasiel Puig did not have a criminal attorney with him and felt compromised partly because of his mental health issues at an interview with federal agents investigating an illegal gambling operation, according to a statement Tuesday night from his agent.
The U.S. Department of Justice announced Monday that Puig, 31, will plead guilty to lying at that interview. Court documents say he has agreed to plead guilty to one count of making false statements and after doing so could face up to five years in federal prison. He also agreed to pay a fine of at least $55,000.
”The government’s indictment arises out of a single interview he gave back in January via Zoom,” said Puig’s agent, Lisette Carnet of Leona Sports Agency.
Carnet said Puig’s lawyer, Keri Axel, has also clarified that under the sentencing guidelines he is eligible for probation.
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Los Angeles Rams receiver Cooper Kupp will have surgery on his sprained right ankle, sidelining the Super Bowl MVP for at least the next four weeks while on injured reserve.
Starting left tackle Alaric Jackson will miss the rest of the year because of blood clots, and starting right guard Chandler Brewer will be out four to six weeks after knee surgery, coach Sean McVay said Tuesday while revealing the latest injury setbacks to the defending champions’ dismal season.
Kupp, the AP’s Offensive Player of the Year last season after winning the triple crown of receiving, sprained his ankle in the Rams’ 27-17 loss to Arizona last Sunday. He needs surgery Wednesday that is likely to sideline the Rams’ top offensive player for several weeks, but McVay did not rule out a return this season for his top offensive playmaker.
Kupp currently is second in the NFL with 75 catches, while his 812 yards receiving and six TD receptions are fifth. He was injured when he landed awkwardly after trying to catch a poorly thrown pass from backup quarterback John Wolford.
BOSTON (AP) – The Boston Bruins have hired a law firm led by former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch to review their player vetting process after signing prospect Mitchell Miller and then rescinding his contract offer.
The team announced Tuesday it retained Lynch of the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison to conduct an independent review of the process. Miller, who was convicted of assault in 2016 for bullying a Black classmate with developmental disabilities in middle school, signed an entry-level deal with Boston this month even though the Arizona Coyotes previously relinquished their rights to him after drafting him in 2020.
The Bruins rescinded Miller’s contract offer after facing harsh criticism around the hockey community and from players currently in the NHL. In their latest statement, they pledged to cooperate with Lynch’s investigation and publicly disclose the results of the review when completed.
Bruins President Cam Neely said the team ”dropped the ball” in its vetting process in the aftermath of the signing and rescinding fiasco, which still has multiple ways it could get worked out since Miller is technically still under contract and part of the organization until it’s terminated or bought out or there’s a settlement.
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) – Sunisa Lee is going to make another run at Olympic glory.
The 2020 women’s all-around gymnastics champion announced Tuesday that she will return to training at the elite level following the end of her sophomore season at Auburn next spring.
”I’ve been able to experience that once-in-a-lifetime feeling and the indescribable emotion when a gold medal is draped around your neck,” Lee said in a social media post. ”But I don’t want it to be just once in a lifetime,”
Lee, 19, became the fifth straight American woman to earn the Olympic title when she edged Rebeca Andrade of Brazil in a taut final at Ariake Gymnastics Centre, a victory Lee never envisioned until U.S. teammate and 2016 Olympic champion Simone Biles took herself out of the competition to focus on her mental health.
The victory made Lee, who is Hmong-American, an instant celebrity. It also, however, did not keep her from fulfilling her commitment to compete for Auburn. The Tigers are coached by Jeff Graba, the twin brother of Lee’s personal coach, Jess Graba.
Lee became the first reigning Olympic champion to compete at the NCAA level, with attendance at meets spiking wherever she and the Tigers went. Lee is hoping to lead Auburn back to the NCAA championships after they finished fourth in the finals last spring.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Mike Thibault is retiring from his position as coach of the Washington Mystics.
The team announced Tuesday that Thibault will continue as general manager, and his son, Eric – who has been an assistant with the Mystics for a decade – will take over as head coach.
Thibault is the winningest coach in WNBA history after going 379-289. He was named coach and general manager of the Mystics in December 2012 and led the team to its first WNBA title in 2019. Washington went 22-14 this season and lost to Seattle in the first round of the playoffs.
Before joining the Mystics, Thibault was the coach of the Connecticut Sun, leading them to two WNBA Finals. He also led Washington to the finals twice. He made 16 playoff appearances with the Sun and Mystics, the most by any coach in league history.
Eric Thibault spent the last four seasons as an associate head coach.