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Fielder, Torborg honored

Published Oct. 18, 2005

Cecil Fielder, whose baseball-bashing made Japan-bashing less popular in Detroit, was named Associated Press Player of the Year Wednesday. Jeff Torborg of the Chicago White Sox was named AP Manager of the Year.

"Anytime you're compared with all your peers and you're selected the outstanding player, that's a great honor for me," Fielder said. "That's awesome. That's unbelievable."

Fielder, whose 51 home runs made him only the 11th player to reach the 50-homer plateau and the first in 13 years, was a clear winner in the nationwide vote by sports writers and broadcasters. He received 90{ votes, Oakland outfielder Rickey Henderson 39{ and Pittsburgh outfielder Barry Bonds 27.

Fielder is the third AP Player of the Year, following Oakland's Jose Canseco in 1988 and San Francisco's Kevin Mitchell in 1989. The award is given strictly for outstanding individual performance.

"A lot of guys get buried in baseball, there's no question about it. They don't get the opportunity. They get released or whatever," said Fielder, who played in Japan last year. "I was lucky, I got to go to Japan. It was a good thing to happen when it happened because the market kind of opened up."

Torborg voted top manager

CHICAGO _ Jeff Torborg has a hard act to follow and he knows it.

But Torborg, named baseball's Manager of the Year by the Associated Press on Wednesday because of the success of his Chicago White Sox, is ready to take on the challenge.

Torborg took a team that finished last in 1989 with a 69-92 record and led the White Sox to a 94-68 mark, second best in the American League and third best in the majors.

"Personally, this is very pleasing, but it'll be tough to win 94 games again," said Torborg, reached in Sarasota, where the White Sox are holding their organizational meetings.

Torborg received 75 of the 165 votes cast by a nationwide panel of sports writers and sportscasters before the start of the playoffs. Jim Leyland, who led Pittsburgh to the National League East title, finished second with 51 votes.

Red Sox release Dwight Evans

BOSTON _ Dwight Evans, a mainstay in rightfield at Fenway Park for almost all of his 18 seasons, won't be back with the Boston Red Sox in 1991.

Evans, one of the most popular Red Sox and known for one of the most respected throwing arms in baseball, found out Wednesday that Boston was not going to exercise an option on his contract at $1.3-million for next season.

"I have many great memories of my Red Sox years," the eight-time Gold Glove winner said. "The fans were always terrific with me, and I want to thank all of them for their support."

Evans, who turns 39 Nov. 3, has been plagued by a persistent lower back problem for about a year and it limited him to a designated-hitter role this season. He batted .249 in 123 games with 13 home runs and 63 RBI as the Red Sox won the AL East in a final-weekend pennant race with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Tanner has bypass surgery

ROCHESTER, Minn. _ Former major-league manager Chuck Tanner has undergone heart bypass surgery at the Mayo Clinic, his son Bruce said.

"He's just real tired and will be that way for a while," Tanner said from his father's hometown in New Castle, Pa. "The doctors say he will have to take it easy for a couple of months. My mom and my brother Mark are with him and are bringing him home today (Wednesday)."

The clinic said Tanner, 61, was "doing well. The doctors say he can function in a normal capacity and can assume all regular activities in a few months."

Destrade named Japan MVP

TOKYO _ Orestes Destrade singled in the winning run and was named the most valuable player as the Seibu Lions beat the Yomiuri Giants 7-3 Wednesday to complete the first four-game sweep in 30 years in the Japan Series.

Destrade, 28, a switch-hitting first baseman who played 45 games with the New York Yankees and Pittsburgh Pirates in 1987-88, led the Pacific League with 42 homers and is the first non-Japanese player named MVP since Randy Bass of the Hanshin Tigers in 1985.

Destrade, who was awarded a $35,000 car, hit a three-run first-inning homer in the Lions' 5-0 victory in Game 1 and drove in runs in all four games. He drove in two runs with a double and a home run in a 9-5 victory in Game 2, and had a two-run double in the first inning of Game 3 in a 7-0 victory.

Giants release Alvarez

SAN FRANCISCO _ The San Francisco Giants on Wednesday placed pitcher Jose Alvarez on waivers in order to give him his unconditional release.

Alvarez, 34, a former player and coach at Hillsborough High in Tampa, came to the Giants in last winter's draft and spent the entire 1990 season on the disabled list after tearing a ligament in his right elbow during spring training.

He underwent surgery on the elbow twice. The team said Alvarez was invited to spring training for 1991.

Around the bases

Free agent filings: Willie McGee, Mike Boddicker and Bud Black were among 19 players who filed for free-agency Wednesday, and they are also among 21 players eligible for free-agency who have been classified as Type A in the annual ranking statistics.

Fifty players have declared themselves free agents in the first four days of the 15-day filing period. Pat Tabler of the Mets, Gary Carter of the Giants and Danny Jackson of the World Series champion Reds also filed Wednesday.