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Cone bounces back to claim Cy Young

David Cone, coming off the worst season of his career, bounced back to beat out former teammate Jimmy Key in a close vote Tuesday for the AL Cy Young Award.

Cone, 16-5 with a 2.94 ERA for the Kansas City Royals, won the award despite not leading the league in any pitching category. Key, 17-4 with a 3.27 ERA for the New York Yankees, led the majors in wins.

Cone received 15 of 28 first-place votes and finished with 108 points in balloting by the Baseball Writers Association of America. Key got 10 first-place votes and 96 points.

"I thought either one of us would've made a deserving winner. I'm hoping to get a chance to call him and tell him that," Cone said from New York during a conference call.

"My first instinct is to feel this might be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I don't want to demean the award because of the strike. But when you look at the award, you're going to think about the despair of 1994."

Randy Johnson, 13-6 with a 3.19 ERA and a major league-leading 204 strikeouts for Seattle, received two first-place votes and finished third with 24 points. Mike Mussina, 16-5 with a 3.06 ERA for Baltimore, got one first-place vote and was fourth with 23 points.

The Sporting News names Bagwell as player of year

ST. LOUIS _ Houston Astros first baseman Jeff Bagwell is The Sporting News' choice as baseball's player of the year, the publication said Tuesday.

Bagwell hit .368 during the strike-shortened 1994 season with 39 home runs and 116 runs batted in. Frank Thomas of the Chicago White Sox was runner-up.

Montreal's Felipe Alou was named National League manager of the year; Buck Showalter of the Yankees was chosen as the top American League manager; and Cleveland general manager John Hart was named executive of the year.

Charges against Padres' Bell, Sanders thrown out

NEW YORK _ A Manhattan judge has dismissed charges against the Padres' Scott Sanders and Derek Bell, who were arrested in April on charges of patronizing prostitutes.

Criminal Court Judge Dynda Andrews said complaints that alleged Bell, of Tampa, offered one undercover police officer $20 for oral sex and that Sanders offered another $50 for intercourse were legally "insufficient."

"They do not give this court any facts upon which this court could find reasonable, or indeed any, factual basis for believing either of the defendants committed the crimes charged," the judge wrote.

The Major League Baseball Players Association said that Sanders and Bell had no comment.

Also worth noting

Japan Series: A sacrifice fly by Masahiro Kawai in the top of the 10th inning delivered the winning run as the Yomiuri Giants beat the Seibu Lions 2-1 Tuesday in the first night game in the 30-year history of the Japan Series, giving the Giants a 2-1 lead in games.

Mets: Bill Spiers, a promising infielder with Milwaukee before serious back problems curtailed his career, was claimed on waivers Tuesday by the New York Mets. Spiers, 28, batted .252 with 17 RBI in 73 games this season. He was the Brewers' starting shortstop on Opening Day.

AL Cy Young voting

Voting for the 1994 American League Cy Young Award, with pitchers receiving five points for each first-place vote, three points for second and one point for third:

Player 1st 2nd 3rd Tot

David Cone, K.C. 15 10 3 108

Jimmy Key, N.Y. 10 14 4 96

Randy Johnson, Sea 2 2 8 24

Mike Mussina, Bal 1 2 12 23

Lee Smith, Bal _ _ 1 1

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