While you await Baseball Hall of Fame 2015 inductees, the IBWAA has its five-man endorsement (and a piece of the Rock)

Tim Raines has been overlooked on the BBWAA Hall of Fame ballot for years, but with the IBWAA, he's been endorsed as a Hall member.

Tim Raines has been overlooked on the BBWAA Hall of Fame ballot for years, but with the IBWAA, he’s been endorsed as a Hall member.

The MLB Network will announce the results of the Baseball Writers Association of America ballot results for the Baseball Hall of Fame at 11 a.m. today, but in the meantime, take into account how the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America has declared through its voting members that Randy Johnson (with 98.24 percent of the vote), Pedro Martinez (95.15), John Smoltz (82.82), Jeff Bagwell (81.94) and Tim Raines (79.30) have cut the mustard.

UPDATE: Johnson, Martinez, Smoltz and Craig Biggio were elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in today’s announcement, touting the fact that it was the first time in 60 that the writers elected four players on one ballot. Bagwell and Raines came up short.

Like the BBWAA, a 75 percent threshold is required for election by the IBWAA.

Curt Schilling finished in sixth place (65.65), and, as far as those under PED dissection, it was followed closely by Roger Clemens (64.76) and Barry Bonds (63.44). Clemens had 56.65 percent a year ago, while Bonds had 57.52 percent in 2014. Barry Larkin and Mike Mussina each received 64.32 percent to finish ahead of Bonds.

There are 338 members in the IBWAA, and 227 voted in this election, both essentially doubling last year’s totals. The BBWAA had 571 ballots cast in 2014 (including one blank). Members have to be in good standing with that group for at least 10 years consecutively to get a vote.

Per a group decision in January, 2014, the IBWAA allows members to vote for 15 players, instead of the previous 10, beginning with this election. With their first opportunity to do so, 136 members voted for more than 10 candidates. Fifty-two members voted for 15 players. The average vote per member was 11.084.

The 2015 IBWAA Hall of Fame ballot compared identically to the BBWAA ballot, with the following exceptions:
= Biggio’s name did not appear on the IBWAA ballot because he was elected by the group in 2014.
= Mike Piazza’s name did not appear on the IBWAA ballot because he was elected by the group in 2013.
=  Larkin’s name did appear on the ballot because he has not reached the 75% threshold in an IBWAA election. The BBWAA voted Larkin into the Hall of Fame in 2012.

A Q-and-A with IBWAA chairman Howard Cole on how the balloting by the organization (full disclosure: I am a member) at this link on Yahoo.com.

 

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Play It Forward Jan. 5-11: When does Lakers-Clippers become a ‘rivalry?’

In May, 2013, there were rumors that the Clippers might want to hire Byron Scott as their new coach after they didn't renew the deal for Vinny Del Negro. The key reason: Scott coached Chris Paul in New Orleans. Doc Rivers ended up with the Clippers gig, and Scott took over the Lakers starting the 2014-15 season. (USATSI)

In May, 2013, there were rumors that the Clippers might want to hire Byron Scott as their new coach after they didn’t renew the deal for Vinny Del Negro. The key reason: Scott coached Chris Paul in New Orleans. Doc Rivers ended up with the Clippers gig, and Scott took over the Lakers starting the 2014-15 season. (USATSI)

THIS WEEK’S BEST BET:

NBA: LAKERS at CLIPPERS
Details/TV: Staples Center, Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., TWC SportsNet, Prime Ticket:
Byron Scott didn’t sound all that impressed with the Clippers’ 118-111 victory over the Lakers back on Halloween night, a game that lifted the Clippers to 3-0 in the new season and dropped the Lakers to 0-2. “It’s just another game —  I don’t consider Lakers and Clippers a true rivalry yet,” said the Lakers’ relatively green head coach. “Obviously, our biggest rivalry has always been the Celtics. They’ve got 17 (NBA championship) banners; we’ve got 16 banners. That’s a rivalry.”
Yes, a rivalry is something where there’s a give-and-take competition. The Clippers have been taking a lot lately, winning eight of the last nine meetings, three of them last year by 48, 36 and 23 points.
indexThat Clippers’ seven-point win about two months ago wasn’t all that pretty, with a total of 51 fouls called. The Clippers (38 of 44) just did more damage at the line than the Lakers (20 for 28), as Blake Griffin converted 11 of 12 free throws to account for a chunk of his game-high 39 points. Kobe Bryant’s 21 points came on just 6-of-15 shooting, and he was a negative-9 in the plus-minus rating. Consider the Lakers had a 79-77 lead with about three minutes left in the third quarter when Bryant took a rest. By the time he returned with 9:11 to play, the Lakers extended the lead to 97-93. So over those last nine minutes, when Bryant made just one of eight shots, the Clippers outscored the Lakers, 25-14. Bryant missed a 3-point try with 16 seconds left and the Lakers trailing 114-111, missed a 17-footer with 27 seconds left and the Lakers trailing 112-111 and missed a 16-footer with 2:43 left and the Lakers trailing 107-106.
The Lakers’ week includes two games against Portland (on the road Monday, 7 p.m.; at Staples Center on Sunday, 6:30 p.m.) and home vs. Orlando (Friday, 7:30 p.m.)
The Clippers’ week ends playing host to Dallas (Saturday, 12:30 p.m.) and Miami (Sunday, 12:30 p.m.), which concludes their season-high stretch of nine-straight home games.

THE BEST OF THE REST:

0120-us-sports-patsravens_standard_600x400NFL PLAYOFFS:
BALTIMORE at NEW ENGLAND: Saturday at 1:30 p.m., Channel 4
CAROLINA at SEATTLE: Saturday at 5:15 p.m., Channel 11

DALLAS at GREEN BAY: Sunday at 10 a.m., Channel 11
INDIANAPOLIS at DENVER: Sunday at 1:40 p.m., Channel 2
“If I’m the Patriots, this is the team I don’t want to see,” said former New England standout and current NBC NFL analyst Rodney Harrison. He was talking about the Baltimore Ravens, the AFC’s No. 6 seed that takes on the conference’s No. 1 seed in this round of eight. After last Saturday’s victory at Pittsburgh, Ravens coach John Harbaugh has a 10-4 record in the post season – equal to what Bill Walsh once had – and he’s 8-4 on the road. This will be the fourth playoff matchup between New England and Baltimore since January, 2010, all of those contests in Foxborough. Ray Rice ran through the Patriots in a wildcard weekend upset, 33-14, in that first one. A Billy Cundiff missed field goal in the AFC title game allowed the Patriots to beat the Ravens in 2011, 23-30. But a year later, Baltimore took a 28-13 win in the AFC championship en route to a Super Bowl victory.

ALSO THIS WEEK:

RANDY JOHNSON MARINERSThe Kings and Rangers reunite from last year’s Stanley Cup Final (Staples Center, Thursday at 7:30 p.m., FSW) … The headliners among the first-year candidates – Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz, not to mention Nomar Garciaparra, Gary Sheffield and Carlos Delgado – have to contend with holdovers like Mike Piazza, Craig Biggio, Jeff Bagwell and Tim Raines on the Baseball Writers Association of America ballot for the Baseball Hall of Fame (Tuesday at 8 a.m., MLB Network) …UCLA, riding a five-game losing streak, has Stanford (Pauley Pavilion, Thursday at 6 p.m., ESPN) and Cal (Pauley Pavilion, Sunday at 4:30 p.m., Fox Sports 1), with USC flipping that at the Galen Center on Wednesday and Sunday … Also in college basketball, Long Beach State goes to UC Irvine (Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Prime Ticket) and UC Davis (Saturday, 8 p.m., ESPNU), Cal State Northridge has UC Davis (Wednesday, 7 p.m.) and Hawaii (Saturday, 9 p.m.) on the road, while Pepperdine and LMU go on the road to face BYU and the University of San Diego …. See more at this link.

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Media column version 01.02.15 — We’re tracking your #CFBPlayoff New Year’s Six experience

Beer-Six-Pack-Muscle-ShirtWhat will make it as our first sports media column of 2015:

How has this ESPN-created “New Year’s Six” pack played out on your TV room so far?

In this screenshot, the WatchESPN application is demonstrated on an iPhone during Thursday's Rose Bowl.  Fans looking to watch the Rose Bowl on their tablets or computers got an error message during the first half instead of the WatchESPN stream. (AP Photo/Oskar Garcia)

In this screenshot, the WatchESPN application is demonstrated on an iPhone during Thursday’s Rose Bowl. Fans looking to watch the Rose Bowl on their tablets or computers got an error message during the first half instead of the WatchESPN stream. (AP Photo/Oskar Garcia)

Re-branding the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Day as the two semifinal games leading into the national title game is part of a package deal that includes dishing the Peach, Fiesta and Orange bowls on New Year’s Eve, and inserting the Cotton Bowl onto Jan. 1 as well.
Get it: The New Year’s Six? (Even if there’s eight, with the Outback and Citrus thrown into the Jan. 1 programming as if to give cotton-mouthed viewers an option in the pre-Rose time window).
Did you know: Next season, the two semifinal games will be played on Thursday, Dec. 31, with the Rose Bowl (not in the rotation) taking place on Jan. 1, 2016 with hopes that the CFP committee gives them a Pac-12/Big Ten match-up of deserving teams.

What will be noted here, for the record:

== As much as we enjoyed the ESPN “BCS Megacast” coverage from the Florida State-Auburn Rose Bowl title game a year ago — especially the coaches’ film room — we look forward to an announcement soon that the network will bring back the best of what it learned for the Jan. 12 College Football Playoff national title game. That will hopefully not include the celebrity suite, where actors/actresses/personalities who just wanted to be seen came in to distract from the action on the field.

Continue reading “Media column version 01.02.15 — We’re tracking your #CFBPlayoff New Year’s Six experience” »

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