And That Happened: Wednesday's Scores and Highlights

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Sergio Romo.jpgGiants
3, Marlins 2
: Barry Zito is now 5-0 after throwing another gem (7
IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 4K). But give mucho credit to Sergio Romo, who atoned for
blowing Tim Lincecum’s game on Tuesday by coming into a bases-loaded,
no-out jam in the eighth to (a) fan Hanley Ramirez on three pitches; and
(b) induce Jorge Cantu to hit into an inning-ending double play.  I
hope Zito bought that man a steak after the game.

Reds 5, Mets 4: I think Jerry Manuel read Ozzie Guillen’s “When I want to quit, I’ll do a lot of stupid things
and make sure they fire me and get paid”
quotes from yesterday morning, because what else could explain (a) taking David Wright out of the game in order to keep Fernando Tatis in it; and (b) using Pedro Feliciano for four straight games, which is only increasing the pressure on an already overtaxed Mets’ pen.

Blue Jays 5, Indians 4: The Tribe are losers of four straight and eight
of their last 10, but this one was particularly painful. Cleveland led
4-2 with two outs in the ninth when Chris Perez gave up a double to Fred
Lewis, Luis Valbuena booted what would have been a game-ending grounder
which allowed Lewis to score and then Perez gave up a two-run shot to
Adam Lind. Perez had been in since there was one out in the eighth.
Asked after the game about using Perez for a five-out save, Manny
Acta made references to Rollie Fingers and Mike Marshall
. Unless
his point was to explain the quality of pitcher that Chris Perez most
certainly is not, I’m not quite sure where he was going with that
comparison.

Pirates 4, Cubs 2: Look kid, we know you’re not Charlie Morton — he can’t pitch and you just did — so just cut the crap. Now tell us: what did you do with Morton? Is he safe? Because if any harm comes to him, well um, aw, forget it.  You gonna be ready to start in five days, “Charlie?”

Phillies 4, Cardinals 0: No one ran onto the field last night. Not even the Cardinals’ hitters, apparently.

Red Sox 3, Angels 1: That’s six straight losses for the Angels. There was a bomb threat before the game. In the game: Big Papi hit a bomb. Coincidence? Why, yes, it most certainly was.

Athletics 4, Rangers 1: This is gonna be one of those years where the AL West champ wins, like, 80 games, isn’t it?

Twins 5, Tigers 4: The sweep. Rick Porcello walked four guys, gave up five hits and allowed five runs in 5.1 innings. After the game he said “it was better.”  Sad thing? He’s not wrong. Miguel Cabrera hit two more runs in a losing cause, and currently has one of the quieter .372/.450/.655 seasons I’ve seen in a long time.

Yankees 7, Orioles 5: Homers from the Nicks and a two-run double from Teixeira give the Yanks a comfortable lead and then the bullpen — after Andy Pettitte’s early exit — takes it home despite the unavailability of both Mo (injury) and Joba (resting).

Braves 7, Nationals 6: A see-saw battle decided with Matt Diaz’s RBI single in the 10th. There had better be a lot more of those in his bat, because Jason Heyward left the game with a groin strain and is probably going to miss a few days, and he has basically been 100% of the offense lately babies.

Astros 4, Diamondbacks 2: The ‘Stros stop the skid on a walkoff jack by Carlos Lee. His first since God knows when, but not this year.

White Sox 9, Royals 2: The Chisox are the Bureau of Reclamation: Freddy Garcia wins, Andruw Jones and Alexis Rios homer.

Rays 8, Mariners 3: Matt Garza pitched eight strong innings to
improve to 5-1 on the season, and helping the Rays win their 20th.
Cliff Lee came out of the gate looking electric, but it didn’t last. He ended up allowing five runs on 10 hits in eight innings. Milton Bradley is getting the help he needs, it seems. The rest of the Mariners need some help too.

Brewers 11, Dodgers 3: The Brewers scored a bunch in the first inning, took a long break and then blew up again in the eighth. I’m not going to say that giving up 11 runs on consecutive nights was unnerving for Dodgers fans, but True Blue L.A. wrote the entire recap of last night’s game in pig Latin.

Rockies 6, Padres 5: Ian Stewart hit a go-ahead homer in the top of the 12th, breaking out of his slump and giving the game to the Rockies. And yes, I did forget this game when I first published the post this morning. I can’t tell you why. Maybe it’s because my brother — who is from San Diego — has been visiting me for a week, I’m getting a little tired of it and I’m just being passive aggressive about all things San Diego.

Bonds, Clemens left out of Hall again; McGriff elected

John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports
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SAN DIEGO – Moments after Fred McGriff was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, almost two decades after his final game, he got the question.

Asked if Barry Bonds belonged in Cooperstown, a smiling McGriff responded: “Honestly, right now, I’m going to just enjoy this evening.”

A Hall of Fame committee delivered its answer Sunday, passing over Bonds, Roger Clemens and Curt Schilling while handing McGriff the biggest honor of his impressive big league career.

The lanky first baseman, nicknamed the “Crime Dog,” hit .284 with 493 homers and 1,550 RBIs over 19 seasons with six major league teams. The five-time All-Star helped Atlanta win the 1995 World Series.

McGriff got 169 votes (39.8%) in his final year on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballot in 2019. Now, he will be inducted into Cooperstown on July 23, along with anyone chosen in the writers’ vote, announced Jan. 24.

“It’s all good. It’s been well worth the wait,” said McGriff, who played his last big league game in 2004.

It was the first time that Bonds, Clemens and Schilling had faced a Hall committee since their 10th and final appearances on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballot. Bonds and Clemens have been accused of using performance-enhancing drugs, and support for Schilling dropped after he made hateful remarks toward Muslims, transgender people, reporters and others.

While the 59-year-old McGriff received unanimous support from the 16 members of the contemporary baseball era committee – comprised of Hall members, executives and writers – Schilling got seven votes, and Bonds and Clemens each received fewer than four.

The makeup of the committee likely will change over the years, but the vote was another indication that Bonds and Clemens might never make it to the Hall.

This year’s contemporary era panel included Greg Maddux, who played with McGriff on the Braves, along with Paul Beeston, who was an executive with Toronto when McGriff made his big league debut with the Blue Jays in 1986.

Another ex-Brave, Chipper Jones, was expected to be part of the committee, but he tested positive for COVID-19 and was replaced by Arizona Diamondbacks President Derrick Hall.

The contemporary era committee considers candidates whose careers were primarily from 1980 on. A player needs 75% to be elected.

“It’s tough deciding on who to vote for and who not to vote for and so forth,” McGriff said. “So it’s a great honor to be unanimously voted in.”

In addition to all his big hits and memorable plays, one of McGriff’s enduring legacies is his connection to a baseball skills video from youth coach Tom Emanski. The slugger appeared in a commercial for the product that aired regularly during the late 1990s and early 2000s – wearing a blue Baseball World shirt and hat.

McGriff said he has never seen the video.

“Come Cooperstown, I’ve got to wear my blue hat,” a grinning McGriff said. “My Tom Emanski hat in Cooperstown. See that video is going to make a revival now, it’s going to come back.”

Hall of Famers Jack Morris, Ryne Sandberg, Lee Smith, Frank Thomas and Alan Trammell also served on this year’s committee, which met in San Diego at baseball’s winter meetings.

Rafael Palmeiro, Albert Belle, Don Mattingly and Dale Murphy rounded out the eight-man ballot. Mattingly was next closest to election, with eight votes of 12 required. Murphy had six.

Bonds, Clemens and Schilling fell short in January in their final chances with the BBWAA. Bonds received 260 of 394 votes (66%), Clemens 257 (65.2%) and Schilling 231 (58.6%).

Palmeiro was dropped from the BBWAA ballot after receiving 25 votes (4.4%) in his fourth appearance in 2014, falling below the 5% minimum needed to stay on. His high was 72 votes (12.6%) in 2012.

Bonds has denied knowingly using performance-enhancing drugs, and Clemens maintains he never used PEDs. Palmeiro was suspended for 10 days in August 2005 following a positive test under the major league drug program.

A seven-time NL MVP, Bonds set the career home run record with 762 and the season record with 73 in 2001. A seven-time Cy Young Award winner, Clemens went 354-184 with a 3.12 ERA and 4,672 strikeouts, third behind Nolan Ryan (5,714) and Randy Johnson (4,875). Palmeiro had 3,020 hits and 568 homers.

Schilling fell 16 votes shy with 285 (71.1%) on the 2021 BBWAA ballot. The right-hander went 216-146 with a 3.46 ERA in 20 seasons, winning the World Series with Arizona in 2001 and Boston in 2004 and 2007.

Theo Epstein, who also served on the contemporary era committee, was the GM in Boston when the Red Sox acquired Schilling in a trade with the Diamondbacks in November 2003.

Players on Major League Baseball’s ineligible list cannot be considered, a rule that excludes Pete Rose.