Cole, Snell capture Cy Young awards


NEW YORK – Gerrit Cole was the unanimous winner of his first American League Cy Young Award on Wednesday, and Blake Snell earned the National League honor by becoming the seventh pitcher to win baseball’s top pitching award in the of his series.

After coming close a few times before, Cole finally finished on top after a stellar season for the New York Yankees. The ace right-hander received 30 first-place votes in the Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballot.

Minnesota Twins right-hander Sonny Gray was second with 20 second-place votes, while Kevin Gausman of the Toronto Blue Jays finished third.

Cole went 15-4 with an AL-low 2.63 ERA and 222 strikeouts in 209 innings, also leading the league in innings. He became the sixth Yankees pitcher to win the Cy Young and the first since Roger Clemens in 2001.

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The six-time All-Star finished second in Cy Young voting and finished in the top five three more times.

Snell was the NL winner after leading the majors in ERA for the San Diego Padres.

The free agent lefty was selected first on 28 of 30 ballots. San Francisco Giants right-hander Logan Webb finished second and Zac Gallen of the NL champion Arizona Diamondbacks was third.

Snell, the 2018 AL Cy Young Award recipient with Tampa Bay, joined Gaylord Perry, Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, Clemens, Roy Halladay and Max Scherzer as pitchers to win both series.

Shaking off a terrible start to the season, Snell went 14-9 with a 2.25 ERA and 234 strikeouts in 180 innings over 32 outings for a disappointing Padres team that finished 82-80 despite baseball’s third-highest payroll.

He was 1-6 with a 5.40 ERA after the loss to Boston on May 19, then was dominant the rest of the way despite leading the majors with 99 walks this year. Taking advantage of his 95-96 mph heater and overpowering curve, Snell has won eight of his last nine starts and has not allowed a run in five of his last six starts – including the three last ones.

Snell gave up just 5.75 hits per nine innings, by far the best mark in the majors. All those numbers while on the mound were more than enough to beat out Webb (11-13, 3.25 ERA) and Gallen (17-9, 3.47), who logged at least 210 innings. Both received first place votes.

Snell, who turns 31 next month, became a free agent after the World Series and turned down a $20,325,000 qualifying offer from the Padres on Tuesday to pursue a more lucrative contract.

Randy Jones (1976), Perry (1978), reliever Mark Davis (1989) and Jake Peavy (2007) were the four San Diego pitchers to win the Cy Young Award.

Brewers promote Murphy to replace Counsell

MILWAUKEE – After spending the last eight seasons as bench coach for Craig Counsell, Pat Murphy is taking over for his former boss as manager of the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Brewers announced they were promoting Murphy on Wednesday, a little over a week after the Chicago Cubs announced they had hired Counsell from Milwaukee. Monday was Counsell’s first news conference with the Cubs.

“Pat Murphy brings a wealth of experience, knowledge and passion for the game of baseball as well as familiarity with the Brewers organization, players, staff and culture,” Brewers baseball operations Matt Arnold said in a statement. “Pat has been instrumental in running the last few seasons of unprecedented success in franchise history. We are delighted that Pat is still in the Brewers family and excited to name his manager today.”

The Brewers will hold an introductory news conference on Thursday for Murphy, who received a three-year contract. The Athletic first reported that the Brewers were hoping to hire Murphy.

Murphy has big shoes to fill.

Counsell set the Brewers’ record for career managerial wins and led the franchise to its longest hitting streak, including four playoff berths in the past six seasons. Counsell took over as Brewers manager when Ron Roenicke was fired in 2015. He hired Murphy as his bench coach after that 2015 season.

MLB to vote on A’s move Thursday

ARLINGTON, Texas – Major League Baseball team owners are set to vote Thursday on the proposed relocation of the Oakland Athletics to Las Vegas at the end of their league meetings.

Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred was presenting his proposal to the 30 owners during the three-day meeting, which came about six months after the A’s reached a tentative agreement for a new stadium in Las Vegas after they could reach an agreement for one in Oakland.

Any proposal for a transfer would require a vote of at least three-quarters — at least 23 owners —. The Montreal Expos, who became the Washington Nationals in 2005, were the last team to relocate.

As several owners were arriving Tuesday, a plane flying a banner reading “A’S BELONG IN OAKLAND –#VOTENO” flew over the hotel where they are meeting near Globe Life Field, home of a champion of the World Series Texas Rangers.

That is part of a last ditch effort to stop any approval for the move. At least half of the Bay Area fan owners were sent special “Stay In Oakland” boxes packed with a green athletic cap, a baseball card bearing his likeness and a note telling him all the reasons he should vote for for the proposed relocation of staff.

If the move is approved, it appears that a new ballpark in Las Vegas won’t open until 2027. It’s uncertain where the A’s will play after 2024 during construction of a new stadium.

Washington Angels plan to ‘run down the West’

ANAHEIM, Calif. – When Ron Washington got his first big job as a major league manager in Texas 17 years ago, his task was to end the Angels’ nearly decade of dominance atop the AL West – and that it was exactly what his Warden did.

“We ran them down,” he said with a laugh.

Washington pulled on the white jersey of the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday as the fourth new manager of this struggling team for just over five years. His new charge in his long-awaited second chance is an inverted version of his job with the Rangers, who now reign supreme along with the division-leading Houston Astros every year.

“Our whole focus is going to be running the West,” Washington said. “And you can take that to the bank and deposit it.”

The 71-year-old Washington exuded gratitude and optimism during his formal induction at Angel Stadium, where his ageless energy and boundless football knowledge are the team’s latest tactic in its bid to end with a malaise of almost ten years.

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