Dan's Dugout: 'Hall' should revise Rules of Entry • Latino Sports

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Dan’s Dugout: ‘Hall’ should revise Rules of Entry

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NEW YORK — The Class of 2016 will meet the media Thursday at the New York Athletic Club.

Beyond Ken Griffey Jr., however, that class could be embarrassingly small.

Mike Piazza hopes the Cooperstown train will stop for him this year

Mike Piazza hopes the Cooperstown train will stop for him this year

Mike Piazza missed by a whisker last year, garnering 69.9 per cent of the vote, and Trevor Hoffman, with more than 600 saves, should come close to admission.

In addition, support seems to be building among the voting writers for Tim Raines, Jeff Bagwell, and perhaps Edgar Martinez.

The gates of Cooperstown are certain to stay locked for Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, who were Hall of Fame shoo-ins before they allegedly resorted to performance-enhancing drugs. Too many voters can’t forgive them for tainting records by artificial means — even though neither was convicted.

Piazza, who entered pro ball after the Dodgers made him a 62nd-round draft choice as a favor to Tommy Lasorda, also may have tasted the forbidden fruit. Had it not been for that supposition, his plaque would already be ensconced in the Cooperstown gallery.

Again, nothing was ever proven.

Bagwell is in similar shape, accused in a whisper campaign that never confirmed usage. Raines, on

Jeff Bagwell (5) hopes to join long-time Astros teammate Craig Biggio (7) in Cooperstown

Jeff Bagwell (5) hopes to join long-time Astros teammate Craig Biggio (7) in Cooperstown

the other hand, was caught in a drug bust: his use of cocaine, no secret, still haunts him on the ballot.

To make matters worse, the Hall of Fame has reduced the years of eligibility from 15 years to 10, making it less likely that players can garner the needed 75 per cent of the vote.

Junior Griffey, a gifted centerfielder who hit 600 home runs, will soar well above that figure. Piazza should too, since no one who ever got 70 per cent one year failed to leap into the Hall the next. Whether or not he cheated, statistics suggest that Piazza was the best offensive catcher in baseball history. Sorry, Yogi.

Trevor Hoffman knows there's a plaque in his future

Trevor Hoffman knows there’s a plaque in his future

Hoffman should be a first-timer too but somebody named Mariano pushed him into second place on the career saves list. As Bob Feller once said, “Pitching a one-hitter is like being the second man on the moon.” A great achievement, perhaps, but not the greatest.

It’s too bad for baseball that voting for Cooperstown has deteriorated into a British farce. Everybody is running in one door and out another.

The 16-member Veterans Committee failed to elect anyone in either of the last two years. Several candidates missed by a single vote of the 12 needed to represent a three-quarters majority.

In the “regular” election, more than 500 media members vote — but are not required to fill out all 10 spots on their ballots. The result, of course, is a total so skewed that less than a handful receive the coveted 75 per cent.

Since voters for the MVP award must complete their ballots or have them nullified, the

The Hall of Fame needs to make voting changes

The Hall of Fame needs to make voting changes

Cooperstown electorate should abide by the same rules. Ironic, isn’t it, that many of the same writers who vote for the annual awards can’t be counted on to name their top 10 favorites for the Hall of Fame.

Now that there’s an earlier cut-off date, the Hall needs to require completed ballots or, failing that, lower the percentage needed for election.

In any high school, a grade of 70 is considering “passing.” The Hall vote should be the same.

Elsewhere in baseball:

Henderson Alvarez, still just 25, already has a no-hitter on his resume and should be a big boon to the Athletics if healed from 2015 shoulder problems . . .

The Mets were miffed at lefty starter Jon Niese, now with Pittsburgh, for complaining about their lack of defensive prowess . . .

At the time of the 1975 Winter Meetings, the last one before free agency, the average player salary was $45,000 . . .

Zack Greinke will make a million dollars a start

Zack Greinke will make a million dollars a start

Zack Greinke will average more than $1 million per start with his new team, the Arizona Diamondbacks ($34.4 million per year with a six-year, $206.5 million haul) . . .

When Hall of Famer Tony Perez visited his ailing father in Cuba in 1972, it was his first visit to his native country in 10 years . . .

Yadier Molina’s second thumb surgery will keep him from dogging a Cardinals uniform for most of spring training . . .

Unheralded White Sox third baseman Todd Frazier has 64 home runs over the past two seasons . . .

The longer they wait, the lower the prospective offers will be for free agents Yoenis Cespedes, Justin Upton, Alex Gordon, Chris Davis, and Ian Desmond . . .

Bob Costas told a national TV audience last week that Hank Aaron is the home run king.

About Dan Schlossberg

Former AP sportswriter Dan Schlossberg of Fair Lawn, NJ has produced 35 baseball books, including autobiographies of Ron Blomberg, Al Clark, and Milo Hamilton. Also a broadcaster, he is the host and executive producer of Braves Banter and Travel Itch Radio and a contributor to Sirius XM.

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