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Panel of experts again votes Tampa Bay Rays' Carl Crawford as baseball's best defensive leftfielder

Carl Crawford has topped the Fielding Bible’s leftfield rankings three times.

Carl Crawford has topped the Fielding Bible’s leftfield rankings three times.

Rays star Carl Crawford hasn't won a Gold Glove yet, but he's in the book again as the game's top leftfielder.

Crawford was voted best by the Fielding Bible's 10-man panel and was the first choice of nine, and second of the 10th, finishing with the highest vote total in the four-year history of the award. It is the third time Crawford has won.

"This was no contest," author John Dewan wrote. "If Crawford doesn't win his first Gold Glove this year, I'm going to throw up."

Other Fielding Bible winners: first base Albert Pujols, second base Aaron Hill, shortstop Jack Wilson, third base Ryan Zimmerman, centerfield Franklin Gutierrez, rightfield Ichiro Suzuki, catcher Yadier Molina, pitcher Mark Buehrle.

Rays DROP first baseman: The Rays cleared the first of several needed spots on their 40-man roster by outrighting first baseman Chris Richard to Triple-A. Richard, who hit .105 in 13 games after being called up in September after spending the past three seasons at Durham, has the option to decline and become a free agent.

cubs owner promises series: Tom Ricketts was a few moments into his first news conference as the Cubs' new owner when he said the team will win the World Series and end a drought that dates to 1908.

"We have to put that talk behind us," he said. "It certainly colors a lot of discussion about the team, but from our position, I can't do anything about what happened in the last 101 years. All we can do is take a thoughtful, long-range approach to the team, and our intent is to win the World Series."

Ricketts said there are plans to improve Wrigley Field but also preserve the feel of the venerable ballpark on Chicago's North Side.

The family of billionaire Joe Ricketts, the founder of TD Ameritrade in Omaha, Neb., bought a 95 percent controlling interest in the Cubs from the bankrupt Tribune Co.

ASTROS: The team added several coaches to new manager Brad Mills' staff, hiring Brad Arns­berg as pitching coach, promoting Al Pedrique to bench coach and adding Bobby Meacham as first-base coach. The team also declined the 2010 option on right-handed reliever Doug Brocail and re-signed third baseman Geoff Blum to a one-year, $1.5 million contract.

BLUE JAYS: Cito Gaston signed a four-year consulting contract that will begin when his managerial deal expires at the end of the 2010 season.

GIANTS: Freddy Sanchez signed a $12 million, two-year contract extension. The three-time All-Star second baseman, who was acquired from the Pirates on July 29 in exchange for a minor-league pitcher, will make $6 million in each year of the new deal.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

Panel of experts again votes Tampa Bay Rays' Carl Crawford as baseball's best defensive leftfielder 10/30/09 [Last modified: Saturday, October 31, 2009 12:18pm]
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