Phelps is named top male athlete
Now that he’s away from the pool, Michael Phelps can reflect — really reflect — on what he accomplished.
Pretty amazing stuff.
“It’s kind of nuts to think about everything I’ve gone through,” Phelps said. “I’ve finally had time to myself, to sit back and say, ‘... that really happened?’ It’s kind of shocking at times.”
Not that his career needed a capper, but Phelps added one more honor to his staggering list of accomplishments — the Associated Press male athlete of the year.
Phelps edged LeBron James to win the award for the second time, not only a fitting payoff for another brilliant Olympics (four gold medals and two silvers in swimming at the London Games), but also recognition for one of the greatest careers in any sport.
Phelps finished with 40 votes in balloting by U.S. editors and broadcasters, while James was next with 37. Track star Usain Bolt, who won three gold medals in London, was third with 23.
Phelps retired from the sport at age 27 as soon as he finished his final race in London, having won more gold medals (18) and overall medals (22) than any other Olympian.
Polanco, Marlins set on 1-year deal
• Former All-Star third baseman Placido Polanco agreed to a $2.75 million, one-year contract with the Miami Marlins, plugging the final hole in the team’s projected lineup following a payroll purge. The 37-year-old battled injuries this year and hit .257 with two home runs and 19 RBI in 90 games with the Philadelphia Phillies.
• The Philadelphia Phillies and reliever Mike Adams finalized a $12 million, two-year contract. The 34-year-old right-hander is expected to fill the eighth-inning role for the Phillies. He was 5-3 with a 3.27 ERA last season for the Texas Rangers.
• Right-hander Mike Pelfrey and the Minnesota Twins finalized a $4 million, one-year contract. The 28-year-old made just three starts for the New York Mets last season and had elbow-ligament replacement surgery on May 1.
• Right-handed reliever Yoshinori Tateyama agreed to a minor-league contract to remain with the Texas Rangers. He had three stints with the Rangers this year after going on the disabled list the first week of the season with a lower back muscle strain and allowed 17 earned runs in 17 innings.
High school star commits to Duke
• Prized prospect Jabari Parker of Chicago’s Simeon Career Academy, one of the most highly touted recruits in years, is headed to Duke. With a national TV audience watching, he announced his decision at a news conference at his high school. Parker can’t sign his letter of intent until April 17. Michigan State and Florida also made his top three.
• Utah State promoted offensive coordinator Matt Wells to replace Gary Anderson as football coach. Anderson took the Wisconsin job Thursday. The 39-year-old Wells played quarterback for the Aggies in the mid-1990s and has coached at the school for the past two seasons.
• Mikaela Shiffrin won a night slalom ahead of Sweden’s Frida Hansdotter in Are, Sweden, for the 17-year-old’s first World Cup victory.
• Chapter Seven was voted harness racing’s Horse of the Year for 2012.
— From wire reports