Tracy, Scioscia honored

? Jim Tracy of Colorado won the NL Manager of the Year award on Wednesday — and earned a new contract, too — while Mike Scioscia of the Los Angeles Angels was selected for the AL honor.

Tracy became the second manager to win the award after taking over during the season, joining Jack McKeon for Florida in 2003. Less than an hour after the award was announced, the Rockies said Tracy had been rewarded with a three-year contract.

Tracy received 29 first-place votes and two seconds for 151 points in balloting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Scioscia got 15 first-place votes, 10 seconds and one third for 106 points.

Ron Gardenhire finished second in the AL voting for the second straight year and fifth time during his eight seasons as Minnesota manager. He also placed third in 2002, when Scioscia was honored for the first time, but never has won the award. Tony La Russa of the Cardinals, a four-time winner, was a distant second in the NL with 55 points.


Playoff slate to tighten

Chicago — Baseball plans to cut down on off days during the postseason next year. Commissioner Bud Selig said Wednesday he’s working on tightening the 2010 playoff schedule so there will be fewer gaps between games.


Browns QB Quinn fined

Berea, Ohio — Cleveland Browns quarterback Brady Quinn has been fined by the NFL for his low hit on Baltimore’s Terrell Suggs.

Orton sits out practice

Englewood, Colo. — Kyle Orton isn’t practicing as the Denver Broncos install their game plan for the San Diego Chargers.

Ravens sign kicker

Owings Mills, Md. — The Baltimore Ravens have signed kicker Billy Cundiff, who once enjoyed success with the Dallas Cowboys and was perfect in a brief stint with Cleveland this season.

Polamalu wearing brace

Pittsburgh — Steelers safety Troy Polamalu wore a heavy brace on his reinjured left knee while watching practice Wednesday. Polamalu is all but certain to miss Sunday’s game at Kansas City.


Pitino accuser indicted

Louisville, Ky. — The woman accused of trying to extort money from Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino was charged Wednesday with retaliating against the coach by falsely claiming he raped her. A federal grand jury in Louisville brought four new criminal charges against Karen Cunagin Sypher, including retaliation against a witness.


Bowden gains backer

Tallahassee, Fla. — Embattled Florida State coach Bobby Bowden has a high-profile alumnus on his side — Gov. Charlie Crist. The Republican governor said Wednesday the Seminoles coach has been great for the school and the 80-year-old Bowden deserves respect. Some of Bowden’s critics have called on him to retire at the end of the season.


U.S. falls to Denmark, 3-1

Aarhus, Denmark — The United States wasted an early goal by Jeff Cunningham and lost a World Cup warmup, 3-1, to Denmark on Wednesday night. Substitutes Johan Absalonsen, Soren Rieks and Martin Bernburg beat goalkeeper Brad Guzan during the first 10 minutes of the second half.