Bonds is a unanimous NL MVP
NEW YORK, Nov. 11 (UPI) -- San Francisco Giants leftfielder Barry Bonds, the only player in major league history with four Most Valuable Player awards, Monday won his fifth.
Bonds, who put behind a history of poor playoff performances, reached the World Series for the first time in his likely Hall of Fame career in 2002, and was a unanimous MVP choice for the first time.
The voting, which is done by the Baseball Writers' Association of America, is completed before the postseason.
After setting a major league record with 73 home runs in 2001, he accomplished a pair of feats no less impressive this past season.
At the age of 38, Bonds became the oldest first-time batting champion with a .370 average, and he shattered the record of the legendary Ted Williams with a .582 on-base percentage. That was 29 points higher than Williams had in 1941, and Bonds broke his own major league record for walks with 198 walks. That was 22 more than his 2001 total.
Bonds hit four home runs and batted .471 (8-for-17) in the Fall Classic, and set a record for walks with 13, including seven intentional, but the Giants were beaten in seven games by the Anaheim Angels.
Bonds won his first MVP while with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1990. He captured MVP honors with the Pirates again in 1992, and in his first year with the Giants the following season.
Bonds finished second to teammate Jeff Kent in 2000, and won for the fourth time in 2001 after breaking Mark McGwire's single-season home run record.
Bonds is playing with the Major League Baseball All-Stars in Japan, and has three home runs in as many games.
St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Albert Pujols was the runner-up, receiving 26 second-place votes and a total of 276 points.
Pujols, at just 22 years old, is a leader on a team that won the National League Central Division after the tragic death of pitcher Darryl Kile. The 2001 Rookie of the Year moved
from third base to leftfield after the acquisition of Scott Rolen, and was consistent throughout the season, hitting .314 with 34 home runs and 127 RBI.
Centerfielder Lance Berkman of the Houston Astros, who led the NL with 128 RBI, finished third. Berkman tied Los Angeles Dodgers rightfielder Shawn Green for third in the NL with 42 homers and hit .292.
Montreal Expos rightfielder Vladimir Guerrero hit 39 home runs and stole 40 bases, falling just shy of becoming the fourth player ever to join the 40-40 club.
Raiders-Broncos feud continues
DENVER, Nov. 11 (UPI) -- Mike Shanahan, fired as coach of the Oakland Raiders 13 years ago before going to Denver, hopes his current troops can win the latest installment of one of the NFL's most bitter rivalries Monday night at Denver's Invesco Field.
Shanahan, who has had lots of luck with Denver in the series, has compiled a 12-2 record against the Raiders, including a 7-0 mark in the last seven games in Denver.
Like Shanahan, Raiders linebacker Bill Romanowski will now get a chance to experience both sides of the rivalry. Romanowski spent six seasons with the Broncos and was a part of their two Super Bowl teams before signing with Oakland as a free agent in March.
Romanowski and the Raiders had plenty of swagger after opening the season with four straight wins, but Oakland has lost four straight games since, mainly because of defensive lapses.
"At this point, we don't have a choice but to respond," said Raiders cornerback Charles Woodson. "We are on a skid now, and the only way to get off that skid is to win a ballgame. We've got to regroup this week, just concentrate and stay disciplined. We can't hold our heads down and let the season go down the drain."
"In my opinion, they are the most complete team in the NFL offensively, defensively, against the run, against the pass, special teams," said Raiders Coach Bill Callahan. "It will be the most athletic team we've faced to date."
With their losing streak, the Raiders find themselves in third place, 1 1/2 games behind San Diego and two games behind division-leading Denver.
The Broncos have had extra time to focus on the Raiders after having their bye last week.
Report: Arrests pending in Breeders probe
NEW YORK, Nov. 11 (UPI) -- Three former fraternity brothers accused in a betting scam that has rocked the thoroughbred racing industry reportedly will surrender to authorities on Tuesday.
According to the New York Daily News, the three men will turn themselves in at the U.S. Attorney's office in White Plains, N.Y., and be charged with wire fraud conspiracy that resulted in payouts of about $3 million.
Glen DaSilva of New York, Chris Harn of Newark, De., and Derrick Davis of Baltimore have been the target of a probe that they manipulated a computer system to ensure winning Pick Six tickets in the Breeders' Cup on Oct. 26 at Arlington Park in suburban Chicago.
The three were fraternity brothers at Tau Kappa Epsilon when they attended Drexel University in Philadelphia.
Ed Hayes, the attorney for DaSilva, told the Daily News that his client will surrender, but added that the government has no proof that they did anything wrong.
"They made bets. They won. They got paid," Hayes told the paper. "These are very risky bets. They have very high payouts. Can the government show the bets they placed are different from the bets they won? I don't think so."
The FBI and federal prosecutors confirmed last week that they had joined in the investigation of the suspicious bets.
Davis and DaSilva had phone accounts and Catskill OTB in upstate New York and placed bets on races at Belmont Park in New York on Oct. 5 and at Balmoral in Illinois on Oct. 3.
Harn was a senior programmer for Autotote, a Delaware company that handles bets at tracks and off-track betting parlors, and allegedly hacked into the computer systems to change DaSilva's bets, netting him more than $100,000.
The three men then are accused of moving on to the prestigious Breeders' Cup, where Davis, a computer services manager, had the only Ultra Pick Six ticker. The $12 ticket was the equivalent of six $2 tickets each worth $428,392, and also produced 108 consolation tickets worth $4,606.20 for five of six winners.
Pick Six winners must pick the first-place finishers of six consecutive races, among the most difficult of all bets.
Questions were raised because of the unusual wager in which Davis picked a single horse in each of the first four races and "wheeled" the last two races -- picking all of the horses -- so he could not lose.
The huge payout resulted when Volponi, a 43-1 long shot, won the last race of the day, the Breeders' Cup Classic, making Davis the only Pick Six winner.
The bets at Belmont and Balmoral were configured in similar fashion. Bettors usually increase their chances of winning a Pick Six wager by using different combinations of more than two races.
Authorities believe Harn rigged the system after the first four races to manipulate Davis' ticket. Harn was fired from his job at Autotote two weeks ago.
The Breeders' Cup payoff has been held up, but the Belmont and Balmoral winnings were paid out.
Reports: Beane says no to Boston
BOSTON, Nov. 11 (UPI) -- In a stunning development, Billy Beane, general manager of the Oakland Athletics, reportedly has backed out of a deal that would have had him taking a similar post with the Boston Red Sox.
Several media sources reported the breakdown. including the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, and Oakland Tribune.
MLB.com, the official website for Major League Baseball, reported Sunday that Beane has worked out a tentative agreement for the Red Sox job, and that the only thing left to do was a deal on compensation.
"We have reached agreement," an official told the website. "However, that agreement is contingent on resolving compensation issues. We are already working on that."
The Athletics say Beane, who was under contract through 2008, is staying in Oakland, and club officials have scheduled a news conference for Monday afternoon, when an official announcement is expected.
The Red Sox have not had a permanent GM since Dan Duquette was relieved of his duties on Feb. 28. Mike Port has filled the post on an interim basis ever since.
The club currently is being run by team president and CEO Larry Lucchino.
Knee surgery for Van Exel
DALLAS, Nov. 11 (UPI) -- Veteran Dallas Mavericks guard Nick Van Exel Monday underwent surgery to repair damaged and torn cartilage in his right knee. He is expected to be sidelined 3-6 weeks.
The arthroscopic surgery was performed by Dr. T.O. Souryal at the Texas Sports Medicine Clinic.
The 6-1 Van Exel has come off the bench in all six games this season and averaged 9.5 points and 3.3 assists per contest. He has shot 38 percent from the field, 40 percent from three-point range, and 92 percent from the free throw line.
Van Exel, acquired last February along with center Raef LaFrentz in a multi-player deal with Denver, has been forced to play a backup role to point guard Steve Nash in Dallas.
Ironically, LaFrentz also is sidelined for at least the next three weeks with a severely- sprained ankle.
Van Exel, who turns 31 later this month, averaged 21.4 points and 8.1 assists in 45 games with Denver last season before the trade. He has a penchant for shooting too much and feuding with coaches, but has accepted his role with the Mavericks.
With Van Exel out, the unbeaten Mavericks will use veteran Avery Johnson, who also was obtained in the Denver deal.
Dallas is the NBA's only remaining unbeaten team at 6-0.
Michigan banged up for Wisconsin game
ANN ARBOR, Mich., Nov. 11 (UPI) -- The eighth-ranked Michigan Wolverines will be without at least two starters this Saturday when they host Big 10 foe Wisconsin.
In last weekend's 41-24 rout of Minnesota, the Wolverines lost linebacker Zach Kaufman and defensive back Zia Combs to injuries.
Kaufman suffered a left knee injury, and Combs hurt his spinal cord. Both injuries were season-ending.
Kaufman's left knee injury is a big blow to the Wolverines, who already have lost linebackers Roy Manning and Lawrence Reid for the season.
Kaufman had 43 tackles, two sacks, and one interception.
"We are not a very healthy football team right now," Carr said.
Michigan, 8-2 overall, still can win the Big 10 title if they beat the Badgers and second-ranked Ohio State in their season-ending contest on Nov. 23.
New York Rangers coach suspended
NEW YORK, Nov. 11 (UPI) -- The NHL Monday announced a series of disciplinary actions against the New York Rangers resulting from Saturday night's game at Columbus.
Left wing Krzysztof Oliwa has been suspended for five games and Coach Bryan Trottier for two, and right wing Sandy McCarthy has been fined $1,000.
Oliwa's suspension is a result of a cross-checking incident against Grant Marshall of the Blue Jackets at the end of New York's 6-3 loss. Based on his average annual salary, Oliwa will forfeit $24,305.
The suspension of Trottier is for the lineup of players he sent on the ice, noted enforcers such as Oliwa and McCarthy, with 2.5 seconds left in the third period. Both Oliwa and McCarthy initiated altercations immediately following the drop of the puck. McCarthy's fine is for receiving a game misconduct.
The Rangers also were fined $25,000 as a team.
Sean Brown suspended by NHL
NEW YORK, Nov. 11 (UPI) -- Boston Bruins defenseman Sean Brown missed the holiday matinee against the Edmonton Oilers on Monday after being suspended by the NHL for one game.
Brown was assessed a match penalty at 9:48 of the second period for a cross-check to the shoulder of right wing Dennis Bonvie in Saturday's 7-1 win over the Ottawa Senators.
Both players received fighting majors, and the third period featured more brawls, although no other match penalties were assessed.
Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and based on his annual salary, Brown will forfeit $3,819.44. The money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.