The Dodgers may be talking to Pedro Martinez

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The Dodgers could use some pitching help, and some have speculated that they could be in on the Cliff Lee frenzy. For now, though, general manager Ned Colletti is setting his sights a bit lower: free agent pitchers such a Pedro Martinez, Braden Looper and Jarrod Washburn.

He’s not said that he talked to any of those guys specifically, but he tells the L.A. Times today that he has inquired about
free agent pitchers.  You figure Pedro would be the main target given that, when he has pitched, he’s basically been effective whereas Washburn and Looper are no guarantees even if they weren’t rusty as hell by now.

Dodgers fans would probably be more interested in watching Martinez anyway.  Not as interested as they would have been to watch him back in the mid-to-late 90s as opposed to having Delino DeShields around, but I’m sure they don’t want to be reminded of that painful memory.

Oh, um, sorry.

Mariano Rivera elected to Baseball Hall of Fame unanimously

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Former Yankees closer Mariano Rivera deservingly became the first player ever inducted into the Hall of Fame unanimously, receiving votes from all 425 writers who submitted ballots. Previously, the closest players to unanimous induction were Ken Griffey, Jr. (99.32% in 2016), Tom Seaver (98.84% in 1992), Nolan Ryan (98.79% in 1999), Cal Ripken, Jr. (98.53%), Ty Cobb (98.23% in 1936), and George Brett (98.19% in 1999).

Because so many greats were not enshrined in Cooperstown unanimously, many voters in the past argued against other players getting inducted unanimously, withholding their votes for otherwise deserving players. That Griffey — both one of the greatest outfielders of all time and one of the most popular players of all time — wasn’t voted in unanimously in 2016, for example, seemed to signal that no player ever would. Now that Rivera has been, this tired argument about voting unanimity can be laid to rest.

Derek Jeter will appear on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time next year. He may become the second player ever to be elected unanimously. David Ortiz appears on the 2022 ballot and could be No. 3. Now that Rivera has broken through, these are possibilities whereas before they might not have been.

Another tired argument around Hall of Fame voting concerns whether or not a player is a “first ballot” Hall of Famer. Some voters think getting enshrined in a player’s first year of eligibility is a greater honor than getting in any subsequent year. I’m not sure what it will take to get rid of this argument — other than the electorate getting younger and more open-minded — but at least we have made progress on at least one bad Hall of Fame take.