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    FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — One by one, the old Patriots axioms fell Thursday, a crumbling facade for a suddenly average franchise. Bill Belichick’s defense neutralizes an opponent’s strength? Bills receiver Stefon Diggs caught seven passes for 92 yards and a touchdown, running through the ashes Justin Jefferson left after torching the Pats secondary last week. That same defense confuses quarterbacks? ...

      LOS ANGELES — Former Dodgers star Yasiel Puig has withdrawn from an agreement to plead guilty to a charge of lying to federal investigators in a sports betting probe and has changed his plea to not guilty, his representatives said Wednesday. "I want to clear my name," Puig said in a statement. "I never should have agreed to plead guilty to a crime I did not commit." Under the plea agreement, ...

        In today’s 10 a.m. video, columnist Ben Hochman explains which Cardinals player is most like each Thanksgiving leftover. Also, a happy birthday shoutout to former Cardinal Mark Whiten! And, as always, Hochman picks a random St. Louis Cards card from the hat.

        Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees has won the American League MVP award, and St. Louis Cardinals slugger Paul Goldschmidt took the NL prize. After hitting 62 home runs this season to break the AL record, Judge easily beat out Los Angeles Angels two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani in an MVP race some thought might be close. The 6-foot-7 outfielder received 28 of 30 first-place votes and two seconds for 410 points from a Baseball Writers’ Association of America panel. Ohtani, last year's winner, was picked first on two ballots and second on the other 28 for 280 points. Goldschmidt took the NL trophy for the first time after a couple of close calls earlier in his career, beating out Padres third baseman Manny Machado.

        LOS ANGELES — This should be a banner week for Shohei Ohtani, baseball's truly global superstar. This is the week the American League most valuable player and Cy Young awards are announced; Ohtani finished fourth in Cy Young voting and is a finalist for MVP. On Thursday, Ohtani declared that he would participate in the 2023 World Baseball Classic, joining Angels teammate Mike Trout as ...

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        Houston’s Justin Verlander in the American League and Miami’s Sandy Alcantara in the National League are both unanimous selections for the Cy Young Award. It’s the second time the winners in both leagues were unanimous since the award began in 1956. The 39-year-old Verlander won the award for the first time, having previously won in 2011 with Detroit and 2019 with Houston. He's the 11th player to win it three times. Verlander missed almost all of the previous two seasons while recovering from Tommy John surgery. He led the AL in ERA. Alcantara led the majors in complete games with six.

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