BEARS ADD DEFENSIVE TACKLE: The Bears on Monday agreed to terms with defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff on a one-year contract.
The four-time Pro Bowler (2008-11) started 85-of-104 games played over eight seasons (2005-12) with the Cowboys, recording 228 tackles, 27 sacks, 13 fumble recoveries, four forced fumbles and 15 pass break ups.
The former Cowboys 2005 seventh-round draft pick (224th overall), started all six contests played in 2012, recording 16 tackles, missing the first four games due to an ankle injury and the last six games due to a groin injury. He has appeared in at least 15 games in six (2006-11) of his eight NFL seasons, including starting all 16 in four seasons (2008-11).
VU'S MANZKE IS HORIZON'S TOP FROSH: Valparaiso University freshman midfielder Morgan Manzke has been named the Horizon League Freshman of the Year in voting by the league's head coaches, highlighting four Crusaders who were honored. Junior midfielder Kelsey Draper and senior goalkeeper Kristen Manski both were second-team selections, while Manzke was joined by April Cronin on the All-Freshman Team.
Manzke becomes the first Crusader to earn a postseason specialty award from the Horizon League since Valpo joined in 2007.
BARDEN HONORED BY HL: Valparaiso senior Charles Barden has been named the Horizon League Offensive Player of the Week for Oct. 28-Nov. 3.
In the Crusaders’ lone match of the week, Barden logged 80 minutes and scored the game-winning goal on a penalty kick in the 87th minute. Barden’s goal not only gave the Crusaders their first league win of the season, it also kept their’ postseason hopes alive.
Barden now leads the Crusaders in total points with 10 and is tied with Nick Suker in goals with four.
BIG LEAGUERS ANNOUNCE AWARD WINNERS: Detroit slugger Miguel Cabrera has won his second straight player of the year award in voting by his fellow major leaguers.
Cabrera followed his Triple Crown season of 2012 with another impressive year. He led the American League with a .348 average and had 44 homers and 137 RBIs, both second to Baltimore's Chris Davis. Cabrera edged Davis and the Angels' Mike Trout for the honor.
Retiring Yankees closer Mariano Rivera was voted Marvin Miller man of the year for excellence on and off the field, and Rivera was also picked as the AL's comeback player of the year, notching 44 saves after missing most of 2012 with a knee injury. Pittsburgh's Francisco Liriano was selected the NL's comeback player.
For the second consecutive year, Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen won NL outstanding player. Cabrera was selected AL outstanding player.
Other awards Monday night went to Detroit's Max Scherzer (AL outstanding pitcher), the Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw (NL outstanding pitcher), Rays outfielder Wil Myers (AL outstanding rookie) and Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez (NL outstanding rookie).
Around the horn
Belk has a new six-year agreement in place to sponsor the Belk Bowl in Charlotte. The Belk Bowl will feature a Southeastern Conference team against an Atlantic Coast Conference team for the next six seasons beginning in 2014. The game is played at Bank of America Stadium, home of the NFL's Carolina Panthers. ... Tickets for the Munster sectional final game vs. Mishawaka will be $6 per person, with no passes honored. The game begins at 6:30 p.m. Friday. ... President Barack Obama called Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell on Monday to congratulate him on winning the World Series. Farrell said on Monday that he got the call just before 2 p.m. According to a report of the call issued by the White House, the president also praised the work of closer Koji Uehara and congratulated designated hitter David Ortiz on being named World Series MVP. ... The Cubs activated pitchers Kyuji Fujikawa and Arodys Vizcaino along with infielder Mat Gamel from the 60-day disabled list. Fujikawa was 1-1 with a 5.25 ERA in 12 appearances with the Cubs before having season-ending surgery on his right elbow. The 22-year-old Vizcaino has missed the past two seasons because of elbow surgery and last pitched in the majors as a rookie with Atlanta in 2011. Gamel, claimed off waivers from Milwaukee last month, missed last season because of a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.