For the first time since 1996, the Baseball Hall of Fame will have no inductees.  This class was notorious for having steroid-tainted superstars such as Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro and Roger Clemens up for election and it seems as though the voters have made their point.  Once considered surefire first-ballot Hall of Famers, Bonds and company failed to come remotely close to the required 75 percent of votes needed for induction.  Bonds, the all-time home runs leader in baseball, finished with 36.2 percent while Roger Clemens, the seven-time Cy Young winner, led the way for the once heralded stars with a meager 37.6 percent.  McGwire (16.9 percent), Sosa (12.5 percent) and Palmeiro (8.8 percent) will likely have to wait the 15 years of eligibility to actually have a chance with the Veterans Committee.  It’s an embarrassment for the game of baseball when someone like Bonds – who hit 762 home runs and a record-breaking 73 in the 2001 season along with winning the most MVP awards in the history of baseball with seven – will likely be held out of the Hall of Fame.  Roger Clemens also won a record-breaking seven Cy Young awards and is third in strikeouts along with being top ten in wins and may never be inducted.  Sammy Sosa is in the top ten for all-time home runs and virtually has no chance.  If it sounds like I’m being sympathetic to the cheaters – I’m not.  They don’t deserve to be in the Hall of Fame, but that doesn’t mean baseball as a whole is without blame.  Curt Schilling, who was also eligible for the Hall and received only 38.8 percent of votes, said it best when asked how he felt about the voting results.

“I think as a player, a group, this is one of the first times that we've been publicly called out," the 3x World Series winner admitted, "I think it's fitting."

You know who I really feel sorry for today?  Guys like Schilling, Craig Biggio (received 68.2 percent) and Mike Piazza (57.8 percent).  Biggio, who had 3,060 career hits and Piazza, who was a 12x All-Star and 10x Silver Slugger award winner (establishing himself as the greatest catcher in the history of baseball), should have been no-brainers.  Neither guy was ever suspected of foul play but some writers didn’t deem them as “first-ballot worthy.”  If this is what the Hall of Fame will evolve into – a place where guys with all-time great numbers like Bonds and Clemens are left out – then the voters need to re-think what constitutes a first-ballot guy.  Next year, Greg Maddux and Frank Thomas will be up for election along with the aforementioned.  If someone like Maddux doesn’t get elected, then they might as well close the doors on the Hall of Fame.  It’s already starting to become a convoluted joke.


• Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks received a one-game suspension from the NBA after he attempted to confront Kevin Garnett of the Boston Celtics after their game Monday night.  Anthony, whose team lost to Boston 102-96 that night, attempted to intercept Garnett before he boarded the Celtics’ team bus post-game.  The two were issued technical fouls for verbally jarring at each other as Anthony attempted to go after Garnett.  Rumors have begun to swirl as to what KG may have said to anger Carmelo and they aren't pretty.  Just Google "Kevin Garnett Honey Nut Cheerios" and you'll see.

• The (2) Alabama Crimson Tide demolished the top-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish in Monday night’s BCS Championship game 42-14.  It was the 2nd biggest rout since the BCS was created in 1999.  Alabama RB Eddie Lacy garnered MVP honors with 140 rushing yards and a rushing TD to go with a receiving TD as well.  AJ McCarron threw for 264 and an easy 4 TD against Notre Dame's top-ranked defense.  Notre Dame, who was trying to win their first National Title since 1988, disappointed college football fans everywhere with the shellacking as the team as a whole was exposed against the vastly superior Alabama squad.  Now, head coach Brian Kelly is reportedly in talks with the Philadelphia Eagles of the NFL to possibly become their next head coach.

• Olympian Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves will miss 8-10 weeks as he tries to recover from a surgically repaired right hand.  This is the second time the 2x All-Star has broken the hand this season.  Minnesota, who is two games back of the 8th seed in the West, is attempting to make the playoffs for the first time since 2004.  Love missed the first three weeks of the season with injuries in the same hand as he surprised everyone when he returned to action ahead of schedule.  Teammate Nikola Pekovic thinks it was a mistake to rush things when he stated “I think this time, he needs to do it right, to recover fully, recover all the way to the end.  The last time, the previous time he got hurt, he kind of hurried."  If Love manages to stick to the recovery timetable, he could return for the final month of the season.

• Dwight Howard of the now 15-20 Los Angeles Lakers (who lost their fifth game in a row last night to the San Antonio Spurs) is currently out indefinitely with what the team is calling a torn labrum.  Howard claims the shoulder injury is not as bad as initially believed, stating that the labrum is not torn – despite team reports.  The Lakers will continue this nightmare season without him for the time being, but the 3x Defensive Player of the Year is confident he’ll return sooner, rather than later.  His shoulder will be reevaluated on Monday and could return shortly thereafter if things have improved.


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