Sports briefs: Nov. 5

November 5, 2013 

Major League Baseball

Reds make qualifying offer to outfielder Choo

The Cincinnati Reds made a $14.1 million qualifying offer to leadoff hitter Shin-Soo Choo on Monday, but decided against the same approach for right-hander Bronson Arroyo and four others. They chose not to make qualifying offers to infielder Cesar Izturis, right-handed reliever Nick Masset and left-handed relievers Manny Parra and Zach Duke. All could re-sign with the Reds as free agents.

Choo was one of the top leadoff hitters in the majors with a .423 on-base percentage, a .285 batting average, 21 homers, 54 RBI, 20 steals and 107 runs scored. He avoided arbitration last season by agreeing to a one-year, $7,375,000 deal.

If Choo accepts the offer, he stays for another season at $14.1 million. If he declines and signs with another team, the Reds will get compensation in next June's amateur draft. He has until next Monday to make up his mind. He's expected to seek a multiyear deal.

Arroyo went 14-12 with a 3.79 ERA last season, the final year on his two-year, $23.5 million extension. He had base salaries of $7 million in 2012 and $6.5 million this year. The deal included $15 million deferred, paid out through 2021. Arroyo joined the Reds in 2006 and has a streak of nine straight seasons with at least 30 starts, making him a dependable part of any rotation.

■ The St. Louis Cardinals made a one-year, $14.1 million qualifying offer to free agent Carlos Beltran. They just don't expect him to return next season. General Manager John Mozeliak and Manager Mike Matheny met with reporters Monday for the first time since losing a six-game World Series to the Red Sox last week. Mozeliak said he expects the 36-year-old Beltran to seek a multiyear contract elsewhere.

"We never want to close doors," Mozeliak said. "Reality is when you look at the depth, trying to find ample playing time, I'm not sure how happy he will be."

Beltran topped 600 plate appearances both seasons with the Cardinals, needing just occasional rest for his surgically repaired knees. He batted .296 with 24 homers and 84 RBI this year, and had several big hits in the post-season, too.

"I reminded him what an incredible season he had for us," Matheny said. "We don't know how this whole thing is going to play out."

■ Detroit slugger Miguel Cabrera has won his second straight player of the year award in voting by his fellow major leaguers.

He beat out the Orioles' Chris Davis and the Angels' Mike Trout for the honor. Retiring Yankees closer Mariano Rivera was voted Marvin Miller man of the year for excellence on and off the field, and Rivera was also picked as the AL's comeback player of the year, notching 44 saves after missing most of 2012 with a knee injury. Pittsburgh's Francisco Liriano was selected the NL's comeback player. For the second consecutive year, Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen won NL outstanding player. Cabrera was selected AL outstanding player.

Torre, La Russa, Cox on Hall of Fame ballot

Retired managers Joe Torre, Tony La Russa and Bobby Cox will join holdovers George Steinbrenner and Marvin Miller on the Hall of Fame expansion era committee ballot next month.

Dave Concepcion, Steve Garvey, Tommy John, Billy Martin and Ted Simmons also are held over from the 2010 ballot, while Dave Parker and Dan Quisenberry have been added. Vida Blue, Ron Guidry, Al Oliver and Rusty Staub have been dropped.

The committee will gather at the winter meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., and its vote will be announced there Dec. 9.


NBA

Malone unhappy with Kings' start

Three games into the regular season, the hoopla surrounding the Kings staying in Sacramento is fading as the reality about the team's on-court prospects sets in. It's obvious there's still a lot of work to be done. The good feelings after a season-opening win over a Denver team missing key players because of injuries have diminished after losses to the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors, two of the best teams in the Pacific Division.

The loss to the Warriors was especially disheartening. The game opened with Warriors center Andrew Bogut scoring over Kings center DeMarcus Cousins, setting the tone for a performance that left Coach Michael Malone expressing his disgust over his team's lack of fight.

The player the Kings believe has the most potential to be an All-Star is Cousins, who leads the team in scoring, rebounding, steals and blocked shots. But they need him to be more consistent.

The Warriors made a point to challenge Cousins defensively, and he picked up his third foul on Bogut while Bogut was on the perimeter and not a threat to score.

Cousins was called for a questionable foul just before that third foul, and it was clear the Warriors were trying to irritate him.

"If I'm somebody playing against us, I'm going to try to get DeMarcus in foul trouble, too," Malone said. "He's our best player, and if you can get our best player on the bench in foul trouble, that's going to be to (their) advantage."

Malone will continue to demand more from Cousins, who he reiterated is "the leader of our team." Malone said Cousins' pride might have gotten the best of him against Bogut, but he said the early problems aren't just about Cousins.

"(Cousins) has to be the key to our defense," Malone said. "Whether it's pick-and-rolls, in the post, he's got to be our communicator. As I said earlier, though, this is not just on DeMarcus Cousins. (The starters Saturday) did not bring the intensity and the fire that we need to start games."

■ Philadelphia rookie Michael Carter-Williams joined Shaquille O'Neal as the only NBA players to win a Player of the Week award to open a career. Carter-Williams won the Eastern Conference honor after averaging 20.7 points and 9.0 assists in a surprising 3-0 week that included victories over Miami and Chicago. The No. 11 pick in the draft had nine steals in the 76ers' season-opening victory over the Heat, the most ever in an NBA debut.

Kevin Love won the Western Conference award after leading Minnesota to a 3-0 week and averaging an NBA-best 29.7 points.

LeBron James is on the verge of another milestone. The Miami Heat forward has scored at least 10 points in 499 consecutive regular-season games and will go for No. 500 on Tuesday when the two-time defending NBA champions visit the Toronto Raptors.

James, a four-time league MVP, would become only the fifth player in NBA history with that many consecutive games of 10 or more points. Only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (with streaks of 787 and 508 games), Michael Jordan (866), Karl Malone (575) and Moses Malone (526) have accomplished the feat.

Andre Iguodala made a career-high seven three-pointers and scored 32 points, Stephen Curry had 18 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds, and the Golden State Warriors handed the host Philadelphia 76ers their first loss of the season, 110-90 on Monday night. The overachieving 76ers (3-1) were one of the early surprises of the season. Iguodala, a former Sixers All-Star, brought them back to reality.


UK women's soccer

Gilliland on All-SEC first team again

Kentucky women's soccer junior Arin Gilliland was named to the All-Southeastern Conference's first team for the second season in a row. Cara Ledman and Stuart Pope made the second team and Zoe Swift made the all-conference freshman squad.


The last word

World Series MVP David Ortiz and Boston Red Sox teammate Shane Victorino had their beards shaved for charity Monday to benefit victims of the Boston Marathon bombings in April. The "shave offs" occurred at Gillette's world headquarters. Victorino appeared a bit shocked when he looked into a hand-held mirror and realized his beard and goatee were completely gone:

"I'm a World Series champion and I look like I'm 12-years old."

Ortiz couldn't resist teasing his now fresh-faced teammate:

"He looks like he's in fifth grade. You going back to school? Mine will grow very fast. I don't think I'll have any problems letting it grow. I don't know about this guy."

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