Dodgers pitcher Brandon McCarthy believes steroid users belong in Hall.

Brandon McCarthy

New Dodgers pitcher Brandon McCarthy believes that Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Mike Piazza belong in the Hall of Fame. (Getty Images)


If you’re sick of hearing about the Hall of Fame and whether known steroid users have a place in it, hang on. A non-voter chimed in today with his 800-word opinion: New Dodgers pitcher Brandon McCarthy.

Voicing his support for Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and others, McCarthy writes:

The question of whether performance enhancing drug (PED) users should be allowed to gain admittance to the Hall of Fame is one that I’ve thought a lot about. Admittedly, it’s a mess. The ramifications extend far and wide, but I believe the answer is to admit those players whose on-field accomplishments merit it and leave history to be the final judge and jury. Ultimately, I believe the greatest injustice would be to leave worthy players—some of whom are objectively among the greatest ever—out of the Hall of Fame, when there very well may be guys already enshrined who have used performance enhancing drugs. Who knows how many PED users are already in the Hall of Fame?

Read the full article here.

Former Dodgers pitcher Pedro Martinez elected to Baseball Hall of Fame.

The Baseball Hall of Fame called for former Dodgers pitcher Pedro Martinez on Tuesday.

The right-handed pitcher was listed on 91.1 percent of ballots, second only to Randy Johnson. Two others were elected, John Smoltz and Craig Biggio. It’s the first time three pitchers have been inducted to the Hall of Fame in the same year.

Former Dodgers catcher Mike Piazza was listed on 69.9 percent of ballots, short of the 75 percent needed for induction.

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IBWAA elects five to Hall of Fame.

In its 2015 Hall of Fame election the IBWAA selected Randy Johnson (with 98.24% of the vote), Pedro Martinez (95.15%), John Smoltz (82.82%), Jeff Bagwell (81.94%) and Tim Raines (79.30%). A 75% threshold is required for election.

I wrote a bit about the IBWAA yesterday and why I was paying particular attention to its Hall of Fame election results this year. Here are the full voting results, based on 227 ballots and an average of 11 players named on each ballot:

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Ten Hall of Fame questions with IBWAA founder Howard Cole.

Pedro Martinez

Pedro Martinez is on both the BBWAA and IBWAA Hall of Fame ballots for the first time. (Getty Images)

Tomorrow is the big day for the Hall of Fame class of 2015, as the Baseball Writers’ Association of America will announce its election results at 11 a.m. on MLB Network.

A candidate must be named on 75 percent of ballots to gain induction, as usual. Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, Mike Piazza, John Smoltz, Craig Biggio, Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines are the most prominent names in the spotlight this year. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly is on the ballot for the final time as a player. Dodgers hitting coach Mark McGwire, remarkably, might be on the ballot for the final time as well if he isn’t named on 5 percent of the ballots.

The website BaseballThinkFactory.com is tabulating the results of BBWAA votes as they are made public on the internet. Not all votes will be made public on the internet.

I did not receive a BBWAA ballot, since I don’t have the necessary 10 years’ experience required to vote in the Hall of Fame election.

I did, however, cast a ballot in the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America Hall of Fame election. Those results will also be announced tomorrow. The IBWAA, founded in 2009, has several members (like myself) who belong to the BBWAA as well. A few even cast ballots in both Hall of Fame elections.

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Maury Wills, Gil Hodges fall short of Hall of Fame induction. (Video)


SAN DIEGO — No bronze plaques will be joining the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

Maury Wills, Gil Hodges and eight other players on the Hall of Fame’s “Golden Era” ballot were shut out by a 16-member voting committee Monday. Dick Allen and Tony Oliva received the most votes — 11, one short of the 12 votes necessary for induction. Wills received nine votes from the committee and Hodges received three or fewer.
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Mad Dog has his day: Former Dodger Greg Maddux inducted into Hall of Fame.

Greg Maddux

Greg Maddux pitched 23 games, regular and postseason, in separate stints with the Dodgers in 2006 and 2008. (Getty Images)

Ned Colletti is the only general manager who’s traded for Greg Maddux, and he did it twice: Once in 2006 and again in 2008. Colletti can take partial credit for the fact that Maddux finished his career as a Dodger — and he did Wednesday, when Maddux was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

“One of my all-time favorites,” Colletti said of Maddux. “One of the best I’ve ever been around.”

Maddux was the leading vote-getter on the 2014 ballot, with 555 votes of the 571 ballots cast by senior members of the BBWAA. That represented 97.2 percent of the vote, the eighth-highest percentage ever since the first Hall ballots were cast in 1936.

Maddux will be joined in Cooperstown by Tom Glavine, who received 525 votes (91.9 percent), and Frank Thomas, who received 478 (83.7).
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Daily Distractions: With Hall of Fame ballots due tonight, will Don Mattingly remain eligible?

Don Mattingly

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly batted .307 in 14 major-league seasons and won nine Gold Glove awards at first base. (Getty Images)

Baseball Hall of Fame ballots are due tonight. As we’ve previously noted, former Dodgers Hideo Nomo, Eric Gagne, Jeff Kent, Luis Gonzalez, Greg Maddux and Paul Lo Duca are all on the ballot for the first time. Manager Don Mattingly, hitting coach Mark McGwire and former catcher Mike Piazza are still hanging on.

Many ballots have already been released publicly and the folks at BaseballThinkFactory.org (among others) are keeping tabs on all of them. Remember, a player needs to appear on 75 percent of ballots to be inducted to the Hall, and 5 percent of ballots to remain eligible (for up to 15 years).

While Nomo, Gagne, Lo Duca and Gonzalez have no chance of induction in this or any year, the same can’t be said for the others. Mattingly debuted on the ballot in 2001 and appeared on 28.2 percent of the ballots in his first year. He’s had an interesting journey since, garnering votes from 9.9 percent of the electorate in 2007 then rebounding to 17.8 percent in 2012.

But a 2014 Hall class featuring several statistically qualified candidates (including Maddux, Frank Thomas and holdover Craig Biggio) could count Mattingly among its victims. BaseballThinkFactory.org has Mattingly listed on 4.6 percent of the 87 full ballots to be revealed so far. McGwire (11.5) and Kent (12.6) are teetering toward extinction, while Piazza (73.6) is teetering toward induction.

Maddux has been listed on every ballot so far. No player has been a unanimous selection in the Hall’s history.

Mattingly — and McGwire, for that matter — doesn’t expect to be elected. If he falls off the ballot, it might amount to nothing more than a brief spring-training conversation topic.

Some bullet points for a New Year’s Eve:
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Daily Distractions: The Dodgers are the new Lakers.

A couple weeks ago, I received an official voter’s ballot for a trivial contest. There were 10 slots to fill.

And no, I’m not talking about the Baseball Hall of Fame.

This was the annual Los Angeles News Group Top 10 Sports Stories of the Year ballot. All the stories we considered involved people and teams who hailed from, or competed in, the greater Los Angeles/Orange County/Inland Empire area. The number-one story on my ballot didn’t involve an athlete, let alone anyone connected to baseball. It was about Jerry Buss, whose death in February took up four of five columns on the front page of that day’s Daily News:

I was surprised to see my colleagues disagreed. The Dodgers’ tumultuous “return to glory” captured their hearts. The sample size of our staff writers may be smallish, but what do I know? L.A. likes a winner.

Then we chose Yasiel Puig as the Los Angeles Sports Person of the Year.

Then Ken Gurnick of MLB.com broke down the Dodgers’ season in 874 words and it didn’t seem like enough.

Then Puig was arrested. (Again.)

Then David Vassegh of KLAC (570-AM) tweeted this:

And suddenly, the Dodgers had become the Lakers.

Debate it all you want, but it seems the tides of buzz and drama and relevance have turned in the Dodgers’ favor. If there’s room for two teams in the public consciousness — as Magic Johnson said roughly one year ago — the Lakers aren’t taking advantage of it right now. The Dodgers are.

Some bullet points for a Monday morning:
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Daily Distractions: Nomo, Gagne, Lo Duca, Gonzalez, Kent, Maddux join Mattingly, McGwire on HOF ballot.

Mark McGwire

Dodgers hitting coach Mark McGwire is listed on the Hall of Fame ballot for the seventh time. (Associated Press photo)

The 2014 Hall of Fame ballot was announced today, and the window for eligibility has struck the Dodgers square in the 2000s. Hideo Nomo, Eric Gagne, Jeff Kent, Luis Gonzalez, Greg Maddux and Paul Lo Duca are all on the ballot for the first time.

They join Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, hitting coach Mark McGwire, former catcher Mike Piazza and several other holdovers on a crowded field. Only 10 players can be listed on a ballot. Voting results will be announced at 11 a.m. on Jan. 8, 2014, on MLB Network and the web sites of the Hall of Fame and the BBWAA.

Nomo was the National League Rookie of the Year in 1995 and no-hit the Colorado Rockies the following season at Coors Field. Gagne saved 161 games from 1999 to 2006 after converting to a reliever, including a record 84 in a row. Kent hit 75 home runs in a Dodgers uniform from 2005-08, finishing his career with 377 — 351 as a second baseman, an all-time record. Maddux made 19 starts as a Dodger in the twilight of a career that included 355 wins, eighth on baseball’s all-time list.

Lo Duca played seven of his 11 major-league seasons with the Dodgers, while Gonzalez spent one season (2007) in Los Angeles and was benched at midseason to make room for Matt Kemp.

Gagne and Lo Duca were both identified in the Mitchell Report as having been connected to performance-enhancing drug use. Their career numbers alone are enough to keep them out of the Hall, but the PED issue has proven impossible to overcome for even some of the best players on the ballot — McGwire, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Rafael Palmeiro, Sammy Sosa and possibly Piazza. They’ll need to be named on at least 5 percent of all ballots to remain eligible.

McGwire (listed on 16.9 percent of ballots last year) and Mattingly (13.2) are closer to 5 percent than the 75 percent needed for induction. Players can remain on the ballot for 15 years after their retirement, and this will be Mattingly’s 14th appearance.

MLB.com has Hall of Fame profiles on several of the top Hall candidates, including Mattingly, McGwire, Piazza and Kent.

Some bullet points for a Mongolian Independence Day:
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Mark McGwire reflects on Musial, Hall of Fame vote.

Mark McGwireHere’s the long transcript of my chat with hitting coach Mark McGwire at the Dodgers’ FanFest on Saturday. I was interested in his reaction to two events in a 10-day span earlier this month – the Hall of Fame election on Jan. 9 and the death of Stan Musial on Jan. 19.

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