NEW YORK (AP) -For once, Clayton Kershaw was glad to see a long shutout streak end.
Kershaw became the first pitcher to win the National League MVP award since Bob Gibson in 1968, coasting to an easy victory Thursday.
A day after unanimously taking the NL Cy Young Award, Kershaw completed a Los Angeles sweep. A little earlier, Angels’ outfielder Mike Trout was a unanimous pick for the AL MVP.
Trout had been blanked in his bid the past two years, finishing second both times to Detroit slugger Miguel Cabrera. The 23-year-old Trout was the youngest unanimous MVP pick in major league history.
Trout, the MVP of the All-Star game in July, and Kershaw both led their teams to West division titles. In August, they finally faced each in a regular-season game - Trout singled, doubled and struck out looking at Dodger Stadium.
Kershaw breezed past Miami bopper Giancarlo Stanton and Pittsburgh outfielder Andrew McCutchen to become Most Valuable Player.
While Detroit pitcher Justin Verlander won the AL MVP in 2011, no one on the NL side had done it for nearly a half-century.
There was plenty of everyday player-vs.-pitcher MVP debate before this announcement. Kershaw had acknowledged “there are so many people out there who don’t think a pitcher should win.”
But the 26-year-old lefty again dominated the hitters -Kershaw led the majors in wins and ERA while going 21-3 with a 1.77 ERA and throwing a no-hitter.
Kershaw got 18 of 30 first-place votes and 355 points in balloting by members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. He drew nine second-place votes, one third and pair of fourths.
Trout received all 30 first-place votes and 420 points. Detroit designated hitter Victor Martinez was second with 229 points and Cleveland outfielder Michael Brantley third with 185.
Trout hit .287 and set career highs in home runs (36) and RBIs (111) while leading the major leagues in runs with 115 and extra-base hits with 84. In his third full season, he matched his bests in doubles (39) and triple (nine).
EASLEY, S.C. (AP) - Alvin Dark, a player and manager on World Series champions who sparked perhaps the most famous rally in baseball history, died Thursday. He was 92.
The Robinson Funeral Home in Easley, South Carolina, said Dark died at his home.
Dark was the 1948 Rookie of the Year and a three-time All-Star shortstop. He played alongside Willie Mays when the New York Giants won the 1954 title, and he guided Reggie Jackson and the Oakland Athletics to the 1974 crown.
In 1951, Dark was team captain when the Giants trailed the Brooklyn Dodgers 4-1 in the bottom of the ninth inning in the deciding Game 3 of their NL pennant playoff.
Dark hit a leadoff single against Don Newcombe, and Bobby Thomson capped the comeback at the Polo Grounds with a home run that became known as “The Shot Heard ‘Round the World” for a 5-4 win.
NEW YORK (AP) -Adrian Peterson will have a hearing via conference call on Monday about possible reinstatement with the Minnesota Vikings.
The hearing will be handled by Shyam Das, an arbiter used by the NFL and NFLPA under the collective bargaining agreement reached in 2011.
Through the players’ union, Peterson entered a non-injury grievance regarding when his paid leave on the commissioner’s exempt list is supposed to end. Lawyers representing the union and the NFL will discuss the grievance.
Peterson has been on that list since Sept. 18 following his indictment for felony child abuse in Texas. The running back pleaded no contest last week to a lesser charge of misdemeanor reckless assault, freeing him from the court system provided he fulfills his probation terms.
NEW YORK (AP) - The NFL players’ union wants to negotiate with the league in changing the personal conduct policy.
In a memo sent to each NFLPA player representative and executive board member, and obtained by The Associated Press on Thursday, the union cites the NFL’s “mismanagement” of several incidents, including the Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson cases.
The memo contends the league has “inconsistencies that have led to the lack of credibility and damage to our brand.”
The union says the league has not complied with the labor agreement reached in 2011 in regard to personal conduct discipline.
The memo mentions “imposed superficial changes to the adjudication process,” apparently referring to Commissioner Roger Goodell installing stronger punishment for first-time offenders of the policy.
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) - The Arizona Cardinals have given defensive coordinator Todd Bowles a three-year contract extension that runs through the 2017 season.
The team made no announcement but Bowles confirmed reports of the extension at his weekly meeting with reporters on Thursday.
Terms weren’t revealed.
Bowles’ aggressive, opportunistic defense is credited as a big reason the team has the best record in the NFL at 8-1.
The extension, believed to make him one of the highest-paid coordinators in the league, shows how much the Cardinals value him. But it wouldn’t preclude Bowles from accepting a head coaching position. He has been mentioned prominently as a prime candidate for a head coaching job next year. Bowles brushed aside a question about that.
TORONTO (AP) - Derrick Rose was in Chicago’s starting lineup for the second straight game. But he finished it on the bench, nursing another leg injury.
Rose scored 20 points before leaving with a sore left hamstring, and the Bulls beat the Toronto Raptors 100-93 on Thursday night.
“I think it’s minor,” said Rose, who was injured when he slipped and fell on a drive late in the fourth quarter.
“I just overstepped. I probably stretched out a little bit more with my left leg and I probably got a cramp in it.”
Rose, who said he’ll treat the injury with ice and muscle stimulation, also said it was too early to say whether he’d be ready for Saturday’s home game against Indiana.
NEW YORK (AP) - NBA Commissioner Adam Silver says it’s time for a new approach to betting on sports.
In an op-ed article for The New York Times published online on Thursday, Silver says fans should have a safe and legal way to gamble on professional games. He suggests a federal framework that allows states to legalize sports betting. He says new regulations would help prevent underage betting while educating those with a gambling problem about how to bet responsibly.
Sports leagues have long opposed gambling on games, claiming it creates incentives for game-fixing. It is currently only legal in Nevada; New Jersey is moving toward legalization - against the opposition of all four major pro sports leagues.
Silver says new laws would have to protect the integrity of the sports.
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) - Durham County’s district attorney has dropped misdemeanor assault charges against Charlotte Hornets rookie P.J. Hairston.
The Herald-Sun of Durham reports (https://bit.ly/1qGsXw6 ) District Attorney Roger Echols said Thursday that he dropped the charges of simple assault and battery at the request of high school student Kentrell Barkley.
Barkley had said Hairston punched him in the face during a pickup basketball game at the Durham YMCA in July.
Hairston was a first-round draft pick by the Hornets earlier this year. He was North Carolina’s leading scorer as a sophomore in 2013 but did not play last year, missing the first 10 games while the school worked to resolve eligibility questions for receiving improper benefits. His college career ended last December when the school chose not to seek reinstatement from the NCAA.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Lakers guard Ronnie Price has been suspended for one game without pay for a flagrant foul against New Orleans’ Austin Rivers.
The NBA announced the suspension Thursday. Price will miss the Lakers’ home game against San Antonio on Friday.
Price hit Rivers in the head with his right forearm early in the fourth quarter of the Lakers’ loss at New Orleans earlier this week. Price was ejected for the hit.
Price signed with the Lakers in the offseason, suiting up for his sixth NBA team in 10 seasons.
The Lakers (1-7) are off to their worst start since moving to Los Angeles.
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