MLB notebook: Tigers’ Cabrera wins AL Triple Crown
Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera became the first player in 45 years to win baseball’s Triple Crown on Wednesday night, joining an elite list that includes Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams and Lou Gehrig.
Cabrera’s milestone wasn’t official until the Yankees pinch hit for Curtis Granderson in their game against the Boston Red Sox. Granderson had homered twice to reach 43 for the year, tied with the Rangers’ Josh Hamilton and one shy of Cabrera.
Cabrera went 0 for 2 against the Royals before leaving in the fourth inning to a standing ovation. He finished the regular season with a .330 average, four points better than the Angels’ Mike Trout, his biggest competition for MVP.
Cabrera was the runaway leader with 139 RBIs.
Boston’s Carl Yastrzemski was the previous player to achieve the Triple Crown in 1967.
Valentine’s job safe for now
Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine’s job was safe for at least one final game.
General manager Ben Cherington would not discuss the status of the Red Sox’s beleaguered first-year manager before Boston’s season finale against the Yankees on Wednesday night.
Valentine has had a trying first year with the Red Sox, 69-92 entering Wednesday. He is under contract for next season.
On Wednesday, Valentine told Boston radio station WEEI that some of his coaches were not loyal to him and undermined him at times this season, his first as a major league manager since 2002.
Nats’ manager leaves early
Manager Davey Johnson missed the end of the Nationals’ regular-season finale after numbness in his left leg because of a back problem. After NL East champion Washington’s 5-1 victory over the Phillies on Wednesday, the 69-year-old Johnson — the oldest skipper in the majors — said he started losing feeling in his leg during the third inning and took a muscle relaxer and aspirin.
Bully for him
For the first time, the Teddy Roosevelt mascot won the Presidents Race in the middle of the fourth inning at Nationals Park — a pursuit that drew attention even from a White House spokesman and Sen. John McCain. Teddy — Mr. Rough Rider, himself — had lost more than 500 times since 2006, when the Nationals began having races among 10-foot-tall foam renderings of Roosevelt, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Abe Lincoln at home games.
Blue Jays salute Vizquel
The Toronto Blue Jays honored retiring infielder Omar Vizquel by having him throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the season finale against Minnesota. The three-time All-Star and 11-time Gold Glove winner has said he intends to retire after a 24-year career. The 45-year-old Vizquel broke in with Seattle in 1989 and has also played with Cleveland, San Francisco, Texas and the Chicago White Sox.
Soriano open to trade
Chicago Cubs left fielder Alfonso Soriano said he is open to being traded in the offseason. The 36-year-old is having his best season in years, with 32 homers and a caree-high 108 RBI. He said Wednesday that “I just want to have one more shot to go to the World Series before I (retire).” Soriano has two years remaining on his contract and said he will consider walking away when the deal is up.
Francona, Indians to talk
Former Boston manager Terry Francona will interview with the Cleveland Indians on Friday. Francona’s meeting will come one day after interim manager Sandy Alomar Jr. has his formal interview with general manager Chris Antonetti about becoming the replacement for Manny Acta, who was dismissed last week with six games left in the season. Alomar and Francona are the only confirmed candidates for the Indians’ managerial opening.