What’s on Tap: Previewing Saturday’s action

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The Cubs and Rangers may have postseason spots locked down, but everyone else is still scrambling to find their place before the music stops next weekend.

Kicking things off at 1:05 PM EDT are the Tigers and Cardinals, both of whom are still alive and kicking in their league’s respective wild card races. Detroit’s Daniel Norris and his 3.70 ERA will take the hill against Kansas City’s Yordano Ventura, who is coming off of his second complete game after tossing nine innings of three-run ball to the White Sox last Monday. In Chicago, Cubs’ right-hander Jason Hammel will try to extend the club’s five-game winning streak against the Cardinals.

In the evening, another division title is up for grabs when Clayton Kershaw takes on Chad Bettis and the Rockies. Both Kershaw and the Dodgers have looked solid of late, with the former holding a 1.29 ERA and 17 strikeouts through three starts in September and the latter riding a three-game win streak against the Giants and Rockies. Winning the division this weekend would also be a fitting send-off for Vin Scully, who is broadcasting his last home series in Dodger Stadium before his retirement at the end of the season.

Of course, a division win also depends heavily on Madison Bumgarner and the Giants, who would need to drop their game against the Padres’ Jarred Cosart in order to help their rivals to a fourth consecutive NL West title.

You can find more from Saturday’s action below.

Kansas City Royals (Yordano Ventura) @ Detroit Tigers (Daniel Norris), 1:05 PM EDT

St. Louis Cardinals (Alex Reyes) @ Chicago Cubs (Jason Hammel), 1:05 PM EDT

Texas Rangers (Yu Darvish) @ Oakland Athletics (Raul Alcantara), 4:05 PM EDT

New York Yankees (CC Sabathia) @ Toronto Blue Jays (Marcus Stroman), 4:07 PM EDT

Boston Red Sox (Rick Porcello) @ Tampa Bay Rays (Matt Andriese), 6:10 PM EDT

Arizona Diamondbacks (Robbie Ray) @ Baltimore Orioles (Wade Miley), 7:05 PM EDT

Washington Nationals (Joe Ross) @ Pittsburgh Pirates (Ivan Nova), 7:05 PM EDT

Atlanta Braves (Aaron Blair) @ Miami Marlins (Wei-Yin Chen), 7:10 PM EDT

Chicago White Sox (Jose Quintana) @ Cleveland Indians (Cody Anderson), 7:10 PM EDT

Cincinnati Reds (Dan Straily) @ Milwaukee Brewers (Taylor Jungmann), 7:10 PM EDT

Los Angeles Angels (Jhoulys Chacin) @ Houston Astros (Brad Peacock), 7:10 PM EDT

Philadelphia Phillies (Alec Asher) @ New York Mets (Sean Gilmartin), 7:10 PM EDT

Seattle Mariners (Ariel Miranda) @ Minnesota Twins (Tyler Duffey), 7:10 PM EDT

San Francisco Giants (Madison Bumgarner) @ San Diego Padres (Jarred Cosart), 8:40 PM EDT

Colorado Rockies (Chad Bettis) @ Los Angeles Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw), 9:10 PM EDT

Jones, Maddux, Morris consider Bonds, Clemens for Hall

USA TODAY Sports
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COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. — Hall of Famers Chipper Jones, Greg Maddux, Jack Morris and Ryne Sandberg are among 16 members of the contemporary baseball era committee that will meet to consider the Cooperstown fate of an eight-man ballot that includes Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Rafael Palmeiro.

Hall of Famers Lee Smith, Frank Thomas and Alan Trammell also are on the panel, which will meet in San Diego ahead of the winter meetings.

They will be joined by former Toronto CEO Paul Beeston, former Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs executive Theo Epstein, Anaheim Angels owner Arte Moreno, Miami Marlins general manager Kim Ng, Minnesota Twins president Dave St. Peter and Chicago White Sox executive vice president Ken Williams.

Three media members/historians are on the committee: longtime statistical analyst Steve Hirdt of Stats Perform, La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune and Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. Neal and Slusser are past presidents of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

Hall Chairman Jane Forbes Clark will be the committee’s non-voting chair.

The ballot also includes Albert Belle, Don Mattingly, Fred McGriff, Dale Murphy and Curt Schilling. The committee considers candidates whose careers were primarily from 1980 on. A candidate needs 75% to be elected and anyone who does will be inducted on July 23, along with anyone chosen in the BBWAA vote, announced on Jan. 24.

Bonds, Clemens and Schilling fell short in January in their 10th and final appearances on the BBWAA ballot. 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 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, just over two weeks after getting his 3,000th hit.

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%) in 2021. Support dropped after hateful remarks he made in retirement toward Muslims, transgender people, reporters and others.

McGriff got 169 votes (39.8%) in his final year on the BBWAA ballot in 2019. Murphy was on the BBWAA ballot 15 times and received a high of 116 votes (23.2%) in 2000. Mattingly received a high of 145 votes (28.2%) in the first of 15 appearances on the BBWAA ballot in 2001, and Belle appeared on two BBWAA ballots, receiving 40 votes (7.7%) in 2006 and 19 (3.5%) in 2007.

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

This year’s BBWAA ballot includes Carlos Beltran, John Lackey and Jered Weaver among 14 newcomers and Scott Rolen, Todd Helton and Billy Wagner among holdovers.