- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 18, 2008

From combined dispatches

St. Louis Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols won his second NL MVP award, powering past Philadelphia star Ryan Howard by a comfortable margin Monday.

Pujols hit .357 with 37 home runs and 116 RBI while playing with a sore right elbow. He was rewarded despite the Cardinals’ fourth-place finish in the NL Central.

“I wasn’t surprised at all,” Pujols said. “You have to consider everything. You have to put all the numbers together.”

Pujols got 18 of the 32 first-place votes in balloting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America and had 369 points. The first baseman added to the MVP award he won in 2005.

GIANTS: Reliever Jeremy Affeldt became the first of 171 free agents to agree to a contract, striking a two-year, $8 million deal with San Francisco.

The 29-year-old Affeldt pitched for the Cincinnati Reds last season, going 1-1 with a 3.33 ERA in a team-leading 74 appearances. He struck out 80 and walked 25 in 78 1/3 innings.

WHITE SOX: Chicago claimed right-handed reliever Kelvin Jimenez off waivers from the Toronto Blue Jays.

The 28-year-old Jimenez posted a 5.63 ERA in 15 appearances for the St. Louis Cardinals last season. He spent most of the season with Triple-A Memphis in the Cardinals’ system, going 1-6 with a 2.92 ERA and 12 saves in 46 relief appearances.

PHILLIES: Scott Proefrock was hired as assistant general manager of World Series champion Philadelphia.

Proefrock spent the last three seasons as director of baseball administration for Baltimore following 11 years with Tampa Bay. He joins Benny Looper and Chuck LaMar as assistant GMs under Ruben Amaro Jr., the team’s new general manager.

HALL OF FAME: Baseball’s legends and old-timers will play in a new Hall of Fame Classic that officials hope will become a tradition.

The inaugural Hall of Fame Classic will be held on June 21, 2009 - Father’s Day and the first day of summer. It will replace the Hall of Fame game, discontinued this season after 68 years because of scheduling problems.

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