NEW YORK C.C. Sabathia won the AL Cy Young Award on Tuesday, beating out several worthy contenders by a comfortable margin and becoming the first Cleveland pitcher in 35 years to earn the honor.
The Indians' ace received 19 of 28 first-place votes and finished with 119 points in balloting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Boston's Josh Beckett was second with eight first-place votes and 86 points, while John Lackey of the Los Angeles Angels got the other first-place vote and came in third. Cleveland's Fausto Carmona was fourth.
"I was excited. My family and everybody were around," Sabathia said on a conference call from his home in California. "I was surprised. Beckett had a great year and an even better postseason."
Sabathia went 19-7 with a 3.21 ERA and 209 strikeouts, pitching a major league-high 241 innings. Beckett (20-7) became the only big league pitcher to win 20 games since 2005, compiling a 3.27 ERA in 200 2-3 innings. Lackey led the AL in ERA at 3.01, going 19-9 and tossing 224 innings. Carmona was 19-8 with a 3.06 ERA.
Voting took place before the postseason, when Sabathia struggled while Beckett pitched the Red Sox to a World Series championship with a string of dominant outings.
"I did look at a few numbers," Sabathia said. "I definitely thought that Beckett it could have went either way. I'm just happy and thankful that it went my way."
The only other Cleveland pitcher to win was the award was Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry in 1972. Now that he has one, Sabathia plans to display his trophy prominently at home."I'll probably keep it out. I'm sitting in my office right now, I'm looking for a spot. I'll probably put it right here," he said.
TEAM PREVAILS: Christie Kerr's 5-foot birdie putt on the lone playoff hole Tuesday gave the LPGA Tour its fourth championship at the 16th annual Wendy's 3-Tour Challenge.
Kerr converted her putt after Fred Funk of the Champions Tour was unable to make his 6-foot birdie attempt on the par-4 18th hole.
The LPGA and Champions threesomes went to the extra hole after tying for first place at 7-under 209. The PGA team placed third at 6 under for 18 holes at the Reflection Bay Golf Club after leading by two after nine.
STARS FIRE GM: Brett Hull is once again in an important position at a crucial time for the Dallas Stars.
Hull and Les Jackson were both made interim co-general managers of the Stars after the team fired Doug Armstrong on Tuesday.
Armstrong, the Stars' general manager since 2002, was let go after a disappointing 7-7 start following a third straight exit in the first round of the playoffs. He left team headquarters in suburban Frisco without comment.
IT'S OFFICIAL, MLS SEATTLE-BOUND: The call came unsolicited, from a powerful Hollywood executive whom Don Garber didn't know.
The commissioner of Major League Soccer quickly learned Joe Roth wasn't just a soccer fan poking around at the idea of putting some money into the MLS. Roth was serious in wanting his own franchise.
"Cold call," Garber said. "He said 'my name is Joe Roth and I want to talk to you about coming into MLS."'
That was in February. On Tuesday, the MLS formally announced that Seattle would become its 15th franchise, beginning play in 2009, concluding the long wait for Pacific Northwest soccer fans.
NADAL LOSES: Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic learned friendship doesn't count for much at the Masters Cup.
Both lost to buddies Tuesday in the round-robin phase of the season-ending tournament featuring the top eight players. Nadal lost to David Ferrer 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 in a match between Spaniards. A weary Djokovic lost to Richard Gasquet of France 6-4, 6-2 and was eliminated from contention for the semifinals with one match left in the Gold Group.