MLB notes: Cabrera captures AL Triple Crown

October 4, 2012 

Miguel Cabrera received a standing ovation after flying out and striking out in his only two at-bats Wednesday night, and leaving the Tigers' game against host Kansas City in the fourth inning with the Triple Crown wrapped up.

Cabrera high-fived his teammates in the Detroit dugout, then walked back to the top step and waved his helmet at the cheering crowd.

Cabrera finished the regular season with a .330 average, 44 homers and 139 RBI, giving him baseball's first Triple Crown since Boston's Carl Yastrzemski in 1967.

"I would say without question he's enjoyed it. How could you not enjoy what he's done if you're a baseball player?" Tigers Manager Jim Leyland said.

Cabrera's pursuit of history has occurred largely in the dark overshadowed by thrilling pennant races and perhaps even the presidential election. "The entire baseball world should be here right now," said Tigers ace Justin Verlander, the reigning AL MVP.

Indians to interview Francona

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. Alomar and Francona are the only confirmed candidates for the job.

Francona has been working as an analyst for ESPN. He led the Red Sox to World Series titles in 2004 and 2007. He was a special assistant in Cleveland's front office in 2001.

Coaches canned

Immediately after ending a string of nine straight winning seasons by finishing with a .500 record, the Phillies fired first-base coach Sam Perlozzo, bench coach Pete Mackanin and hitting coach Greg Gross.

The Cubs have fired third-base coach Pat Listach. He had been bench coach in 2010 and 2011, and moved to third base this year.

Teddy finally wins mascot race

For the first time, the Teddy Roosevelt mascot has 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 had lost more than 500 times since 2006, when the team began having races among 10-foot-tall foam renderings of Roosevelt, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Abe Lincoln.

The crowd cheered wildly Wednesday when Teddy won, helped when a green mascot wearing a Phillies jersey — Washington's opponent — knocked down the other three mascots.

Reds' division series rotation set

Cincinnati Manager Dusty Baker confirmed Wednesday that right-hander Johnny Cueto will start the opener of the NL division series against San Francisco. Cueto went 19-9 this season with a 2.78 ERA.

Bronson Arroyo will likely start Game 2, followed by Mat Latos in Game 3.

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