Nov 12, 2019

Roundup of MLB awards week

New York Mets' Pete Alonso. Photo: Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Mets 1B Pete Alonso and Astros DH Yordan Álvarez had historic seasons in 2019, and their efforts were recognized last night with runaway wins in the NL and AL Rookie of the Year Award voting.

The winners: Alonso won the midsummer Home Run Derby, then became the first rookie to win the full-season version, leading all of baseball with 53 bombs. Álvarez compiled the highest OPS ever for a rookie with at least 300 trips to the plate, while recording 27 HR and 78 RBI in just 87 games.

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Spygate 2.0 hits the Houston Astros

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Houston Astros used a camera to help steal signs during their 2017 championship season, pitcher Mike Fiers and three other unnamed former Astros told The Athletic (subscription).

How it worked: "A feed from a camera in center field, fixed on the opposing catcher's signs, was hooked up to a television monitor that was placed … in the tunnel that runs between the dugout and the clubhouse."

Go deeperArrowNov 13, 2019

Labor unrest lurks as free agency begins in the MLB

Data: FanGraphs; Table: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

"The holiday shopping season is upon us, and what better way to bring cheer than by signing a free agent." MLB teams will be looking to do just that in the coming weeks.

Yes, but: We could be in for another long, cold winter, as many of the same forces that made last year's free agency so frustratingly slow are still at play.

Go deeperArrowNov 15, 2019

Megan Rapinoe named Sports Illustrated's Sportsperson of the Year

Megan Rapinoe in a match against Mexico on May 26. Photo: Ira L. Black/Corbis via Getty Images

Sports Illustrated on Monday named soccer star Megan Rapinoe as its 2019 Sportsperson of the Year for her part in the United States' World Cup win and for "being a vocal activist for equality."

The big picture: Rapinoe, now the fourth woman to win the award unaccompanied, became a household name after her breakout performance in the World Cup. She also gained significant media attention after President Trump criticized her for refusing to visit the White House if the U.S. won the tournament.

Go deeperArrowDec 9, 2019