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Twins' Joe Mauer named AL MVP in near-unanimous vote

He becomes only the second catcher in 33 years to win the award. The Yankees' Mark Teixeira and Derek Jeter finished second and third respectively.

November 24, 2009|Staff And Wire Reports
  • Twins catcher Joe Mauer talks to the media Monday after accepting the American League MVP award.
Twins catcher Joe Mauer talks to the media Monday after accepting the American… (Jennifer Simonson / Associated…)

Joe Mauer sat behind a table on a podium in a conference room at the Metrodome when Justin Morneau shouted out the last question of the day.

"Are you finally going to buy dinner now?" Morneau said to his teammate from the audience, one MVP to another.

Mauer became only the second catcher in 33 years to win the American League Most Valuable Player Award, finishing first in a near-unanimous vote Monday.

The Minnesota Twins star received 27 of 28 first-place votes and 387 points in balloting by the Baseball Writers' Assn. of America.

New York Yankees teammates Mark Teixeira (225 points) and Derek Jeter (193) followed. Detroit's Miguel Cabrera drew the other first-place vote and was fourth with 171 points, one point ahead of the Angels' Kendry Morales.

Mauer became the second Twins player to win in four years, following Morneau in 2006.

Born in St. Paul, Minn., the 26-year-old can leave the Twins and become a free agent after the 2010 season, when he is to make $12.5 million. Minnesota is expected to try to sign him to a new deal.

"I've always said it will happen when it needs to happen and I truly believe that," he said. "I'm not the kind of guy that, you know, says by this date we need to have something done."

GOLF

Nordqvist and Ochoa winners

Anna Nordqvist won the LPGA Tour Championship and Lorena Ochoa finished second to earn her fourth consecutive player-of-the-year award, by one point over Jiyai Shin.

The 22-year-old Nordqvist shot a final-round 65 to finish 13 under par at Richmond, Texas. Ochoa was two strokes back and won the top player honor when Shin couldn't chip in from the front of the 18th hole.

TENNIS

Nadal loses to Soderling again

Rafael Nadal lost to Robin Soderling for the second straight time, falling, 6-4, 6-4, in their opening round-robin match at the ATP World Tour Finals in London.

Soderling, who handed the Spaniard his first-ever loss on clay at the French Open this year, powered his way through the Group B match by mixing a hard forehand with a solid backhand to keep Nadal running all over the hard court at the O2 Arena.

In the late match, Novak Djokovic rallied from a poor start to beat Nikolay Davydenko, 3-6, 6-4, 7-5, and move a step closer to the semifinals of the season-ending tournament for the top eight players in the world.

The second-ranked Nadal can still advance, but probably needs to win his two remaining group matches.

HOCKEY

Kings call up two from AHL

Thinned up front by injuries, the Kings called up center Andrei Loktionov and right wing Brandon Segal from Manchester (N.H.) of the American Hockey League. They're expected to practice with the Kings today in El Segundo.

Loktionov, 19, was the Monarchs' leading scorer, with six goals and 17 points in 20 games. Segal ranked third, with six goals and 15 points. Ryan Smyth, who suffered an undisclosed injury Nov. 16 and is expected to miss a month, was put on injured reserve. Center Jarret Stoll missed his second straight day of practice because of a lower-body injury and is doubtful for Wednesday's game at Edmonton.

-- Helene Elliott ETC.

Not-guilty plea in Andrews case

An Illinois insurance executive accused of secretly making nude videos of ESPN reporter Erin Andrews pleaded not guilty to interstate stalking.

Michael Barrett, 48, entered the plea in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles. Barrett is suspected of finding three hotels where Andrews was staying last year. He rented an adjacent room, altered the peephole and shot videos of Andrews, authorities said.

If convicted, Barrett could face up to five years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000. He was scheduled to return to court Jan. 12.

With rumors swirling about Charlie Weis' future at Notre Dame, Florida's Urban Meyer said he would not be interested in coaching the Fighting Irish.

Speaking of the speculation that he might be headed to South Bend, Meyer said, "I'm ready to dispel it. I'm going to be the coach at Florida as long as they'll have me. So I want to make that clear."

USC forward Michelle Jenkins will miss the rest of the season after tearing a ligament in her left knee.

Jenkins, a 6-foot-3 sophomore, was hurt during the Trojans' game against Gonzaga last week. She is the third USC player to be lost for the season because of a torn knee ligament this fall in Coach Michael Cooper's first season.

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