Pena named top AL manager
NEW YORK, Nov. 12 (UPI) -- Tony Pena of Kansas City on Wednesday was named American League Manager of the Year.
In his first season as manager, Pena led the Royals, a team that entered the 2003 campaign with the second-lowest payroll in baseball, to an 83-79 finish.
"We are the type of team that showed everybody we were for real," Pena said. "A lot of people thought we had no chance. My players and staff were ready to take the challenge."
Pena collected 24 of 28 votes and a total of 130 points from the Baseball Writers Association of America. He is the first Royals manager to be honored.
Minnesota's Ron Gardenhire was second after leading his club to its second consecutive AL Central Division title, and Ken Macha of Oakland was third.
McKeon named top NL manager
NEW YORK, Nov. 12 (UPI) -- 72-year-old Jack McKeon was named National League Manager of the Year Wednesday.
McKeon, who was the frontrunner, led the Florida Marlins to their second world championship in seven years after taking over for the fired Jeff Torborg on May 11. He led the Marlins to a 75-49 record, the best in the major leagues over that period.
McKeon received 19 of 32 first-place votes and 116 points in balloting by the Baseball Writers Association of America.
"I don't need this job," McKeon told the team before it faced Colorado on May 11. "I believe you guys can win. Winning is fun and fun is winning."
McKeon became the first manager to win the award who took over a team during the season, and also became the first Marlin to take the honor.
Dusty Baker, a three-time winner of the award, finished second with 62 points after guiding the Chicago Cubs to the NL Central Division title in his first season with the club.
Atlanta's Bobby Cox was third.
Flutie gets weekly NFL honor
NEW YORK, Nov. 12 (UPI) -- San Diego quarterback Doug Flutie is among those garnering weekly honors from the NFL.
Flutie was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week after he completed 21 of 29 passes (72.4 percent) for 248 yards and two touchdown passes without an interception in the Chargers' surprising 42-28 win over Minnesota.
The 5-10 Flutie also ran for a pair of touchdowns, becoming the first 40-year-old player to rush for two touchdowns in one game. He was joined by Pittsburgh linebacker Jason Gildon (defense) and New York Jets placekicker Doug Brien (special teams) for the AFC.
Their counterparts in the NFC were Atlanta running back Warrick Dunn (offense), tackle Brian Young of St. Louis (defense), and placekicker Jason Hanson of Detroit (special teams).
Dunn carried 25 times for 178 yards as the Falcons dumped the New York Giants, 27-7, giving Coach Dan Reeves his 200th career victory. It was the second-highest single game rushing total for Dunn, who had a 45-yard touchdown run.
Packers ink T.J. Slaughter
GREEN BAY, Wis., Nov. 12 (UPI) -- The Green Bay Packers have signed free agent linebacker T.J. Slaughter for the balance of the season.
The Jacksonville Jaguars waived him on Oct. 28 after being arrested on a gun charge. Two people claimed Slaughter pulled a handgun on them as they were passing his car.
"Slaughter is a physical linebacker," said Coach Mike Sherman. "I am hopeful that he also will impact our special teams. There were some questions raised about T.J.'s character at the time he left Jacksonville. I researched his background extensively and all reports have come back positively. He will have a fresh start here in Green Bay, which I am hopeful he will take full advantage of."
The 6-foot, 233-pound Slaughter, a third-round draft selection out of Southern Mississippi in 2000, played in 42 games for Jacksonville, with 29 starts. He played in six games this season before being waived, posting 19 total tackles, 17 of them unassisted.
For his career, he has 325 tackles.