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Braves' Maddux wins Cy Young third time in row

Tom Seaver had a better fastball, Sandy Koufax had a crisper curve, Steve Carlton had a sharper slider.

Greg Maddux, though, has something none of them do _ a third straight Cy Young Award.

Maddux became the first pitcher to win the award three straight years, unanimously sweeping the NL honor Monday with an overpowering year in a season dominated by hitting.

The Atlanta ace was 16-6 with a 1.56 ERA. His ERA, the third lowest in 75 years, was more than 2{ runs below the league average, the biggest differential in major-league history.

Maddux became the sixth pitcher to win three Cy Youngs, joining Carlton _ who won a record four _ Koufax, Seaver, Jim Palmer and Roger Clemens. He also became the first ever to win one of baseball's annual post-season honors in three straight seasons.

Orlando seeks delay in presentation

ORLANDO _ Boca Raton millionaire Norton Herrick, trying to acquire an expansion franchise for Orlando, said Monday he wants Major League Baseball to postpone his group's interview before league officials.

Five ownership groups representing four areas, including Tampa Bay, are scheduled to make presentations before MLB officials Nov. 1. Herrick said Monday he hopes to postpone his presentation several days because his two partners, Paul Jacobs and Steve Kurtz, are involved in an unrelated lawsuit.

Herrick said he would make the presentation alone should baseball officials deny the postponement.

Mets' Gooden files for free agency

Dwight Gooden declared free agency Monday, but the owners' Player Relations Committee reminded the Players Association that the Mets pitcher cannot sign with a new club until he is removed from the suspended list. The 11-year major-leaguer has 15 days to serve of a 60-day suspension for drug use.

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