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  • Photos by Allen Kee / ESPN Images(NEW YORK) -- One of baseball's biggest sluggers and one of its shortest stars each claimed their first MVP Award on Thursday night.In the National League, Miami Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton won one of the tightest MVP races in history. Stanton held off Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto by two points. Stanton hit a league-leading 59 home runs and drove in 132 runs this season. Stanton was just the sixth player to win the award on a team with a losing record, and the first Marlins player to ever win.Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve received 27 of the 30 first place votes, en route to winning the American League award. Altuve, just 5-feet-6 inches tall, maintained a .346 batting average along with 204 hits, 24 home runs and 81 RBI this year. His Astros won the World Series for the first time in franchise history. Altuve is the second Astros star to win the award, following in the footsteps of first baseman Jeff Bagwell in 1994.Since 1995, only Altuve, San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey and Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant have won the MVP award in the same season their team won the World Series.New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge, considered the other contender for the AL award, finished in second. Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • Credit: Photos by Allen Kee / ESPN Images (NEW YORK) -- The Baseball Writers Association of America named Cleveland Indians pitcher Corey Kluber and Washington Nationals hurler Max Scherzer as their Cy Young Award winners, selecting the pair as the best pitchers in either league.Both Kluber and Scherzer had won the award previously, Kluber claiming the trophy in 2014, and Scherzer having won in 2013 and 2016.Kluber became the 19th pitcher to win at least two Cy Young Awards when he was named the American League's winner on Wednesday night. Scherzer, named National League winner shortly afterwards, became just the 10th pitcher to win at least three. Scherzer also became just the 11th pitcher to win consecutive Cy Young Awards.The awards are voted on by two writers in each city represented by the league. Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • Photo by Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images(DALLAS) -- Star running back Ezekiel Elliott will drop his appeal of a six-game suspension related to accusations of domestic violence, representatives for the Dallas Cowboys second-year player said Wednesday.The decision means Elliott will sit out the full six games and return to the team on December 24 against the Seattle Seahawks. A hearing for a potential preliminary injunction had been scheduled for December 1 before the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, but with the case unlikely to be resolved before the NFL's postseason, Elliott will serve the ban now and return in time for possible playoff games."In consultation with the NFLPA and his lawyers, and after a careful deliberation and review of recent Second Circuit decisions, Mr. Elliott has decided to forgo any further appeals and will serve his remaining suspension," a statement from Elliott's agents reads. "This decision arises from a practical assessment of the current legal landscape.""Mr. Elliott's desire for closure is in his best interests, as well as the best interests of his teammates, family and friends," the statement added. "This decision is in no way an admission of any wrongdoing, and Mr. Elliott is pleased that the legal fight mounted by he and his team resulted in disclosing many hidden truths regarding this matter as well as publicly exposing the NFL's mismanagement of its disciplinary process."Elliott has maintained his innocence throughout the process, which began in July 2016 when a former girlfriend accused him of domestic violence in Columbus, Ohio, where he went to college. Authorities in Ohio did not press charges against Elliott, but a 13-month NFL investigation ended in the league deciding it had "persuasive evidence" to impose a six-game suspension. Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • Thomas Northcut/DigitalVision/Thinkstock(ROME) -- The Italian Football Federation announced the firing of the head coach of the national soccer team on Wednesday after he failed to guide them to next summer's World Cup.Italy lost to Sweden, 1-0 on aggregate, in a World Cup qualifying playoff earlier this week, marking the first time the team will miss a World Cup since 1958. As a result, on Wednesday, the IFF announced that Gian Piero Ventura would not return as the national team's head coach.The search for a successor begins immediately, with the team's next match scheduled for March 27 -- a friendly against England. Ventura coached the Italian team for 17 matches, winning ten, drawing four and losing three. ESPN noted that his tenure ends as rumors persist about disatisfaction among some of the more experienced players. Italian news agency ANSA quoted Renzo Ulivieri, president of the Italian Coaches' Association, as saying before Wednesday's announcement that "not going to Russia is a problem, and we're not stupid enough not to realize that.""In view of such a result, the whole system needs to be questioned," he added. "It would have been wrong [for Ventura] to resign in the heat of the moment -- it's always best to meet first."ESPN named Carlo Ancelotti as one of the favorites to take the job. Ancelotti has coached for AC Milan, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich in his career. He was fired by Bayern Munich last month.Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • Photo by Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images(NEW YORK) -- The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied an emergency injunction request from Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott Thursday, meaning his six-game suspension is back on.Elliott won't be eligible to play on Sunday in the Cowboys' game against the Atlanta Falcons. The next hearing in his case won't be until December 1, meaning he could miss four games before another court date.Elliott was suspended for six games for violations of the NFL's personal conduct policy. The league said it found persuasive evidence that Elliott committed domestic violence against his then-girlfriend in 2016.Last week, Elliott received a temporary stay that allowed him to play against the Kansas City Chiefs.If Elliott sits out the full six-game suspension now, he would return on December 24. The Cowboys will turn to Alfred Morris, Darren McFadden and Rod Smith at running back in his absence.Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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