Alejandro Pozuelo Named Major League Soccer’s 2020 Most Valuable Player

Alejandro Pozuelo is the most-est…

The 29-year-old Spanish professional footballer, an attacking midfielder for Toronto FC, has been named Major League Soccer‘s 2020 Most Valuable Player.

Alejandro Pozuelo

Pozuelo had nine goals and 10 assists during the coronavirus-shortened regular season, even while the Reds played part of the year in Connecticut because of travel restrictions in Canada.

“I’m very proud because this means a lot and maybe tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, when I start seeing more news, I will believe that I’ve won this award,” he said. “But I’m very proud to represent Toronto. And I know it’s easy to say that I won the award, but it’s something that takes a lot of work to get here.”

His 10 assists were tied for the league lead with Houston‘s Darwin Quintero and Seattle‘s Nicolas Lodeiro. Pozuelo had four goals and two assists during September, earning MLS Player of the Month honors.

Pozuelo is the second Toronto FC player to win the MVP award, following Sebastian Giovinco in 2015. Hailing from Sevilla, he has been with the Reds for the past two seasons. He had 12 goals and 12 assists last year. He had two goals and an assist in his MLS debut.

Pozuelo finished with 35.35% of the overall vote for the Landon Donovan MLS MVP award. Golden Boot winner Diego Rossi of LAFC was runner-up and Lodeiro finished third in the poll of players, technical staffs and select members of the media.

In a conference call with reporters, Pozuelo said he feels he’ll only get better.

“I believe in myself, I know I can play good, and I try to do that,” he said. “But I feel like I played three, four, five years at a very good level and next year I’ll try to do the same.”

Toronto finished the regular season 13-5-5 and second in the Eastern Conference standings. The Reds were eliminated from the playoffs in the first round by upstart Nashville. Toronto coach Greg Vanney announced last week that he’s stepping down and the Reds have started the search for a new coach.

“Vanney is a very good coach and a very good person and he helped me a lot to win this MVP. I want to say thank you to the coach,” he said. “He leaves now, and next year we’ll adapt to another coach. But I want to say thank you because with him I won this trophy.”

Mariano Rivera Among 20 New Candidates on the MLB Hall of Fame Ballot

Mariano Rivera is on the ballot…

The 42-year-old Panamanian former Major League Baseball pitcher is among 20 new candidates on the Hall of Fame ballot for the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, joined by 15 holdovers headed by Edgar Martinez.

Mariano Rivera

Nicknamed “Mo” and “Sandman,” Rivera played 19 seasons for the New York Yankees. He spent most of his career as a relief pitcher and served as the Yankees’ closer for 17 seasons.

Rivera had 652 regular-season saves and 42 in the postseason that included five World Series titles. He was 8-1 with a 0.70 ERA in 32 postseason series.

Rivera was named the 1999 World Series Most Valuable Player (MVP) and the 2003 American League Championship Series MVP, and he holds several postseason records, including lowest earned run average (ERA) (0.70) and most saves (42).

Players remain on the ballot for up to 10 years, provided they receive at least 5 percent of the vote annually. Martinez and first baseman Fred McGriff (23.2 percent last year) are on the BBWAA ballot for the final time.

Other Latino players making the ballot include Venezuelan professional baseball pitcher Freddy García, Dominican former professional baseball player Plácido Polanco, Dominican former professional baseball outfielder Manny Ramírez, Dominican American former professional baseball right fielder Sammy Sosa, Dominican former professional baseball shortstop Miguel Tejada, and Venezuelan former professional baseball shortstop Omar Vizquel.

More than 400 ballots are being sent to eligible voters from theBBWAA, and a player must receive at least 75 percent for election. Ballots are due by December 31 and results will be announced January 22, 2019. Voters must have been members of the BBWAA for 10 consecutive years.

Here’s a look at the players on this year’s ballot for the Baseball Hall of Fame:

Hall of Fame Ballot List

  • Rick Ankiel
  • Jason Bay
  • Lance Berkman
  • Barry Bonds
  • Roger Clemens
  • Freddy García
  • Jon Garland
  • Travis Hafner
  • Roy Halladay
  • Todd Helton
  • Andruw Jones
  • Jeff Kent
  • Ted Lilly
  • Derek Lowe
  • Edgar Martínez
  • Fred McGriff
  • Mike Mussina
  • Darren Oliver
  • Roy Oswalt
  • Andy Pettitte
  • Juan Pierre
  • Plácido Polanco
  • Manny Ramírez
  • Mariano Rivera
  • Scott Rolen
  • Curt Schilling
  • Gary Sheffield
  • Sammy Sosa
  • Miguel Tejada
  • Omar Vizquel
  • Billy Wagner
  • Larry Walker
  • Vernon Wells
  • Kevin Youkilis
  • Michael Young

Rodriguez to Serve as Full-Time Analyst After Signing Multi-Year Deal with Fox Sports

Alex Rodriguez is miking up…

The 41-year-old Dominican American former New York Yankees slugger has agreed to a multi-year deal to be a full-time analyst for Fox Sports.

Alex Rodriguez

Among other things, A-Rod—a 14-time All-Star and three-time American League Most Valuable Player—will break down the game for some Fox MLB Saturday games, serve as a feature reporter for Fox’s pre-game shows, and appear on FS1’s MLB Whiparound.

“Bringing Alex back was a priority of ours and we are fortunate to have him as a key contributor to our baseball coverage,” says Fox Sports President of Production & Executive Producer John Entz. “His potential is off the charts and he’s been an incredibly quick learner in the world of television. He even understands the complexities of sales units.”

Major League Baseball suspended A-Rod for the 2014 season after it was revealed that he used performance enhancing drugs between 2000 and 2003, and received human growth hormone treatments in 2013.

This is the last year of his decade-long $275 million contract with the Yankees. The team let him go as a player last August, after a prolonged slump, although it remained on the hook for his contract.

But his encyclopedic knowledge of the game made him an impressive analyst in guest stints on-air analyzing the 2015 World Series and the 2016 postseason.

He ended his playing career as the game’s leading grand-slam hitter with 25 in 2,784 games. He’s also the No. 4 home run hitter, with 696, as well as No. 20 in hits with 3,115, and No. 3 in runs batted in with 2,086.

Rodriguez played with the Seattle Mariners and the Texas Rangers prior to joining the Yankees in 2004.

Cabrera Notches Hit No. 2,500

It’s another special milestone for Miguel Cabrera

The 33-year-old Venezuelan professional baseball player, a first baseman for the Detroit Tigers, singled in the third inning of Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Indians for the 2,500th hit of his career.

Miguel Cabrera

Cabrera, a two-time American League Most Valuable Player, became the 100th player in Major League Baseball history to reach the milestone with his line drive off Indians starter Trevor Bauer.

Cabrera, an 11-time MLB All-Star, was hit on the left hand by a pitch in the first inning but remained in the game after being checked by a team trainer.

In 2012, Cabrera became the first player since 1967 to win the batting Triple Crown, leading the AL with a .330 batting average, 44 home runs, and 139 RBI, earning him the AL MVP award that year.

In 2013 Cabrera improved on the previous year’s batting performance, including a career-high .348 batting average, and received another AL MVP award.

Perez Nominated for Kids’ Choice Sports Awards

Salvador Perez has a golden glove… But does he have golden hands? 

The 26-year-old Venezuelan professional baseball catcher for the Kansas City Royals has earned a nomination for this year’s Kids’ Choice Sports Awards.

Salvador Perez

Perez, a four-time MLB All-Star, three-time Gold Glove Award winner and the World Series Most Valuable Player in 2015, is nominated in the Hands of Gold category.

But Perez isn’t the only Latino athlete nominated…

Soccer star Lionel Messi is nominated in the Sickest Moves category.

Meanwhile, professional skateboarder Leticia Bufoni is nominated in the Queen of Swag category.

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson will take the stage at UCLA‘s Pauley Pavilion to host the Kids’ Choice Sports Awards on Sunday, July 17.

Fans can vote for their favorite sports star through the use of online voting on both Nick.com and the Nick app starting Monday, May 23.

Tune in on July 17 at 8:00 pm ET, 9:30 pm PT on Nickelodeon to find out which sports star takes home the most orange, mohawked blimps.

Here are this year’s nominees:

Best Male Athlete
Bryce Harper (MLB, Washington Nationals)
Cam Newton (NFL, Carolina Panthers)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Soccer, Real Madrid C.F.)
Kyle Busch (NASCAR)
LeBron James (NBA, Cleveland Cavaliers)
Stephen Curry (NBA, Golden State Warriors)

Best Female Athlete
Alex Morgan (NWSL, Orlando Pride)
Elena Delle Donne (WNBA, Chicago Sky)
Jamie Anderson (Professional Snowboarder)
Katie Ledecky (Competitive Swimmer)
Lydia Ko (Professional Golfer)
Serena Williams (WTA)

Favorite Newcomer
Jewell Loyd (WNBA, Seattle Storm)
Karl-Anthony Towns (NBA, Minnesota Timberwolves)
Kristaps Porzingis (NBA, New York Knicks)
Simone Biles (Professional Artistic Gymnast)
Taylor Fritz (WTA)
Todd Gurley (NFL, Los Angeles Rams)

Hands of Gold



Andrelton Simmons (MLB, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim)
Antonio Brown (NFL, Pittsburgh Steelers)
Corey Crawford (NHL, Chicago Blackhawks)
Odell Beckham Jr. (NFL, New York Giants)
Rob Gronkowski (NFL, New England Patriots)
Salvador Perez (MLB, Kansas City Royals)

Clutch Player of the Year



Carli Lloyd (NWSL, Houston Dash)
James Harden (NBA, Houston Rockets)
Kevin Durant (NBA, Oklahoma City Thunder)
Patrick Kane (NHL, Chicago Blackhawks)
Peyton Manning (NFL, Denver Broncos)
Stephen Curry (NBA, Golden State Warriors)

Sickest Moves
Alexander Ovechkin (NHL, Washington Capitals)
Kyrie Irving (NBA, Cleveland Cavaliers)
Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona and the Argentina Men’s National Team)
Odell Beckham Jr. (NFL, New York Giants)
Russell Westbrook (NBA, Oklahoma City Thunder)
Stephen Curry (NBA, Golden State Warriors

Don’t Try This At Home Award



Alise Post (Professional BMX Racer)
Ashley Caldwell (Professional Aerial Skier)
Danny Davis (Professional Snowboarder)
Nyjah Huston (Professional Skateboarder)
Ronda Rousey (UFC, MMA Fighter)
Satoko Miyahara (Professional Figure Skater)

King of Swag


Andre Iguodala (NBA, Golden State Warriors)
Antonio Brown (NFL, Pittsburgh Steelers)
Cam Newton (NFL, Carolina Panthers)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Soccer, Real Madrid C.F.)
Russell Westbrook (NBA, Oklahoma City Thunder)
Von Miller (NFL, Denver Broncos)

Queen of Swag



Caroline Wozniacki (WTA)
Elena Delle Donne (WNBA, Chicago Sky)
Leticia Bufoni (Professional Skateboarder)
Misty Copeland (Professional Ballet Dancer)
Skylar Diggins (WNBA, Dallas Wings)
Swintayla “Swin” Cash (WNBA, New York Liberty)

Best Cannon



Aaron Rodgers (NFL, Green Bay Packers)
Bryce Harper (MLB, Washington Nationals)
Novak Djokovic (ATP)
Russell Wilson (NFL, Seattle Seahawks)
Serena Williams (WTA)
Tom Brady (NFL, New England Patriots)



Biggest Powerhouse


Draymond Green (NBA, Golden State Warriors)
Holly Holm (UFC, MMA Fighter)
J. Watt (NFL, Houston Texans)
Prince Fielder (MLB, Texas Rangers)
Rob Gronkowski (NFL, New England Patriots)
Von Miller (NFL, Denver Broncos)

Need for Speed
Usain Bolt (Professional Track and Field Athlete)
Candace Hill (Professional Track and Field Athlete)
Billy Hamilton (MLB, Cincinnati Reds)
Jimmie Johnson (NASCAR)
Ted Ligety (Alpine Ski Racer)
Chloe Kim (Professional Snowboarder)

Perez Named Most Valuable Player of the 2015 World Series

It’s turned out to be a Royals year for Salvador Perez

Following the Kansas City Royals 7-2 victory in Game 5 of the World Series over the New York Mets, the 25-year-old Venezuelan catcher for the Royals was unanimously named the Most Valuable Player of the 2015 World Series.

Salvador Perez

Perez hit .364/.391/.455 in the series, going 8-for-22 at the plate with two doubles while scoring three runs with two RBIs.

In the Series-clinching win, Perez plated the tying run in the Royals’ ninth-inning comeback, then sparked their victory in the 12th inning with a leadoff single down the right-field line before being lifted for pinch runner Jarrod Dyson.

“He just had a phenomenal series,” said Royals manager Ned Yost. “I think if I had one regret during the whole playoffs, [it] was I had to pinch run for Sal there in that inning. But it opened up the door for us to score five. I really wish that Sal could have been out there to jump in [closer Wade Davis‘] arms when we got the final out.”

Up to that point, Perez had caught every inning for the Royals in the series, but at times was nearly forced out of games by injuries that are the routine hazards of catchers at every level.

“What I always say, I think it’s part of my job,” Perez said. “Take a foul ball, a wild pitch.”

Perez took a foul tip off the mask in Game 4 of the AL

Division Series and AL Championship Series, and in Game 4 of the World Series he was staggered by a tip off his collarbone.

“He’s never going to say nothing,” said Yost, a former catcher. “He’s as tough as they come. You just know that even if you ask him, he’s going to tell you he’s fine, so no sense of asking him.”

“Now I don’t feel pain.”

Perez achieved a unique feat by driving in the tying run in the ninth inning of Game 5 one year after being the last batter in Game 7 of the 2014 World Series against the San Francisco Giants, ending that game with a popup to Pablo Sandoval at third base.

Asked about that coincidence, Perez said, “I already forgot about last year. So I just enjoyed the moment now. In 2015, Kansas City is No. 1. Who cares about what happened last year?”

In Game 5, batting against Mets closer Jeurys Familia with Eric Hosmer on third base and one out, it was Perez’s grounder to third base that allowed Hosmer to score. The Royals’ first baseman scampered home, forcing an errant throw by Mets first baseman Lucas Duda after Perez was retired on third baseman David Wright‘s assist.

“You guys know what we’ve done all season,” Perez said. “We never quit. We never put our heads down. … We always compete to the last out. And that’s what we did tonight.”

Perez became the first catcher to win the MVP award since Pat Borders won it while playing for the Toronto Blue Jays in the 1992 World Series, and the seventh catcher to win it in the history of the Fall Classic, joining Borders, Gene Tenace (1972, Oakland A‘s), Johnny Bench (1973, Cincinnati Reds), Steve Yeager (1981, Los Angeles Dodgers), Darrell Porter (1982, St. Louis Cardinals) and Rick Dempsey (1983, Baltimore Orioles). He also became just the second Royals player to win the award, joining starting pitcher Bret Saberhagen of the 1985 world champions.

Perez is also the second player born in Venezuela to win the award, joining Sandoval, who won it in 2012 with the Giants. He signed with the Royals organization when he was 16 years old.

“It’s unbelievable. I always say we feel like a family here,” Perez said. “We’ve got the same group, almost the same group [from] when I played my first year in 2007 in Arizona, in the Rookie league. It’s amazing to now win a World Series and see the same guys with you. It’s exciting.”