Wednesday Sports in Brief

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NEW YORK (AP)Justin Verlander has a second AL Cy Young Award – and a clear path paved toward Cooperstown.

Verlander beat out teammate Gerrit Cole in balloting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America revealed Wednesday night. Verlander got 17 first-place votes to 13 for Cole, who became a free agent after the season.

Mets ace Jacob deGrom won the NL prize for the second straight year. He received 29 of 30 first-place votes, becoming the 11th pitcher to win Cy Youngs in consecutive years. He and Verlander are the 20th and 21st players to win the award multiple times.

The 36-year-old Verlander won his first Cy Young in 2011 with Detroit, when he was also named MVP. Since then, he’d been a runner-up three times.

DeGrom is in special company as a repeat NL winner, joining Sandy Koufax, Greg Maddux, Randy Johnson, Tim Lincecum, Clayton Kershaw and Max Scherzer.

The 31-year-old led the NL with 255 strikeouts and posted a 2.43 ERA. His resume was bolstered by his durability – deGrom totaled 204 innings, compared to 182 2/3 for runner-up Hyun-Jin Ryu and 172 1/3 for Scherzer, the Nationals ace who finished third.


FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) – New York Jets chairman and CEO Christopher Johnson says Adam Gase’s job is safe and he will remain the coach next season despite the team’s struggles this year.

Johnson held a brief meeting with reporters Wednesday and says Gase has his trust as well as the trust of general manager Joe Douglas moving forward.

Johnson calls Gase ”a good man, good coach,” and says he likes how Gase has maintained a positive dynamic in the facility despite the Jets facing lots of adversity and sitting at 2-7.

Johnson says the losing has been ”exceedingly frustrating,” but adds that he believes Gase and Douglas will be able to ”lead the Jets to a great future.”

Gase replaced the fired Todd Bowles last January, and Douglas was hired to replace Mike Maccagnan in June.


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Ohio State star defensive end Chase Young will be held out of one more game as punishment for breaking NCAA rules by accepting a personal loan.

The penalty was announced by Ohio State in a statement Wednesday.

That means the preseason All-American will miss Saturday’s game against Rutgers and be back for showdowns with No. 9 Penn State and No. 14 Michigan to end the regular season.

No. 3 Ohio State announced the day before its game with Maryland that Young would be held out amid concerns he violated NCAA rules by taking a loan last year from someone he describes as a ”family friend.”

Young explained his ”mistake” in a tweet and said the loan had been paid back.

Ohio State had sought immediate reinstatement.


CARSON, Calif. (AP) – Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the LA Galaxy are officially parting ways after two seasons.

The 38-year-old Ibrahimovic and the Galaxy both announced the long-anticipated decision Wednesday.

The Swedish superstar scored 56 goals in 52 MLS games after joining the Galaxy in March 2018. After debuting with a dramatic two-goal performance as a substitute in a win over Los Angeles FC, Ibrahimovic was an elite, steady scorer for the five-time league champion club.

But the Galaxy won just one playoff game in his tenure, and he lost the MLS MVP award this year to LAFC’s Carlos Vela, who scored an MLS-record 34 goals to Zlatan’s 30.

Ibrahimovic has never stayed at a club for more than four seasons in his peripatetic career.

GENEVA (AP) – FIFA has hired Arsene Wenger in a full-time role leading its global work developing soccer.

The former Arsenal manager accepted FIFA’s offer Wednesday more than two months after it was first reported, and one week after talks with Bayern Munich about the German champion’s vacant head coach job.

FIFA said Wenger’s title will be chief of global football development. He will oversee the rules-making panel known as IFAB, coaching programs and technical analysis of games at FIFA tournaments.

Wenger will also help FIFA create an executive program ”tailored to encourage former professional players to enter management,” soccer’s world body said in a statement.


Hall of Fame catcher Mike Piazza says he has agreed to become manager of Italy’s national baseball team.

The 51-year-old Piazza, who was born in Norristown, Pennsylvania, is of Italian ancestry. He tweeted Wednesday he will manage Italy at a European tournament in 2020 and at the 2021 World Baseball Classic.

Piazza was Italy’s hitting coach at the 2009 and 2013 WBC tournaments.

In 2016, he bought control of the third-tier soccer club Reggiana, which dropped out of Serie C after the 2017-18 season.


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) – USA Volleyball has extended the contract of CEO Jamie Davis through 2024.

The national governing body called it ”a positive vote of confidence following major accomplishments during his first three years.”

Under Davis, USA Volleyball has seen its membership grow to a record 424,000 members. The organization has had an operating surplus of more than $7 million since 2017.

The money is being invested in growing the sport, including aid that will help six historically black colleges and universities begin men’s varsity volleyball programs in 2021.

Davis was hired to take over USA Volleyball in 2017. He was the first CEO to come from outside the organization’s leadership.


BRUSSELS (AP) – Raymond Poulidor, the ”eternal runner-up” whose repeated failure to win the Tour de France helped him conquer French hearts and become the country’s all-time favorite cyclist, has died. He was 83.

Even decades after his career ended, Poulidor was still worshipped in a nation where sports fans love to pull for ”magnificent losers.” The fact he never wore the yellow jersey and never quite got the better of his rivals Jacques Anquetil and Eddy Merckx became his trademark.

Outside of cycling’s circles, his status as cycling’s nearly man eclipsed the achievements of Anquetil and Bernard Hinault, the two French members of the elite club of five-time Tour winners.

Over his 17-year-career, Poulidor – who was nicknamed ”Poupou” – secured a record eight podium finishes at cycling’s showpiece event but could never reach Paris in the famed yellow tunic, which is worn by the race leader after each stage.

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – The life of Rebecca Veeck, daughter of St. Paul Saints baseball team owner Mike Veeck, will be celebrated next month in Charleston, South Carolina.

Rebecca Veeck (vehk) died Sept. 30 in Charleston after being diagnosed years ago with Batten disease, a rare genetic condition. She was 27.

Her family plans to host ”Rebecca Fest” at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park in Charleston on Dec. 12 on what would have been her 28th birthday.

She was diagnosed at age 7 with a degenerative eye disease that left her blind. The Star Tribune reports that after she had a seizure at 22, her parents took her to the University of Iowa Hospitals, where doctors diagnosed her with Batten disease.

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