Minnesota Twins' catcher Joe Mauer was awarded the American League's Most Valuable player on Monday.
Mauer missed the first month of the Major League Baseball season, but quickly got into the swing of things. Mauer led the league in hitting percentage, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage. Mauer also had career highs in home runs and runs batted in.
The vote for Mauer becoming MVP was almost unanimous, as 27 out of the 28 members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America gave him first place votes. The one other first place vote went to Detroit Tigers' player Miguel Cabrera.
Even though Mauer won the MVP, he still has something to work for. "World Series," Mauer said. "That's where I want to be." The Twins did make the playoffs this year, but were knocked out in the first round by the New York Yankees.
The Twins are trying to lock up the MVP before he becomes a free agent next winter. His teammate Justin Morneau, the MVP in 2006, says they are tying to keep Mauer in Minnesota. "We're going to do everything we can to keep him here as a Minnesota Twin," Morneau said. Twins' General Manager Bill Smith knows it will be tough. "That's one of our challenges," Smith said.
Mauer becomes the fifth Minnesota Twin to win the award and also is the 2nd catcher to win the award in 33 years.
The Colts were facing their first loss of the season when the Patriots built a 17-point lead in the early stages of the fourth quarter. However, the Colts battled back with a couple quick touchdowns to cut the lead to three. The Patriots added a field goal to increase the lead to six.
The Patriots had the ball with just over two minutes left in the game, and were facing a 4th down and two yards to go from their own 28-yard line. The Patriots called a timeout to discuss what to do on the next play, and the players were told they were going for it. The Patriots lined up and Patriots quarterback Tom Brady dropped back and threw a pass to wide receiver Kevin Faulk, who bobbled the football before securing it to his body. The referee decided that Faulk was bobbling the ball, so the mark of the spot was shorter than it would be if he did not bobble the football. The Patriots were short of the first down, the Colts took over on downs and marched down the field for the game winning touchdown.After the game Patriots' head coach Bill Belichick still thought the call was the right one to make. "We thought we could win on that play," Belichick said. And his players are agreeing with him. "Coach has a lot of confidence we can make a yard and a half to win the game," Brady said.
France was playing Ireland for the right to go onto the World Cup, held in South Africa next summer. The game was tied in the overtime period 1-1. Then, french player Thierry Henry, used an obvious hand ball to set up the game winning kick by William Gallas.
The referee missed the hand ball, and allowed the goal. The overtime period continued, but Ireland failed to score and lost the game. Not only did Ireland lose the game, but because of the loss they wont be going to South Africa this summer for the World Cup. With the french win, France advances to the World Cup.
After the game, Henry responded to the questions about the hand ball. "I will be honest, it was a hand ball. But I'm not a ref," Henry said. Meanwhile, Ireland coach Giovanni Trapattoni thought the referee should have asked Henry. " I'm sure he would have admitted there was a hand ball."
After the match, Ireland filed an official complaint to FIFA asking for a replay of the match. FIFA received the complaint but denied it, and with the ruling France is officially going to the World Cup next summer.