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Sherman calls out NFL in presser with Baldwin

RENTON, Wash. (AP) With the help of a cardboard cutout, the Seattle Seahawks' Richard Sherman and Doug Baldwin took digs at the NFL during a news conference on Tuesday after the league issued a $100,000 fine to teammate Marshawn Lynch for not speaking to the media. Sherman and Baldwin made mention of everything from the league's sponsorship deals with major beer companies to their own personal endorsements that are not affiliated with the NFL, to the talk of player safety with the Seahawks about to play their second game in five days. The point of their performance seemed to be that whatever they said - real or satirical - it would not be a violation of the league's media policy on speaking with reporters. "The other day Marshawn Lynch got fined $100,000. Did you know that, $100,000?" Sherman said. "And it's like they wouldn't have paid him $100,000 if he had talked. If he had spoken, Doug do you think they would have paid him $100,000?" Baldwin responded, "No, they sure wouldn't have." The duo spoke for about 2 1/2 minutes ahead of Thursday's NFC championships game rematch against San Francisco. Baldwin hid behind a cutout of himself, with Sherman standing to the side of the podium and taking the lead as the pair bantered. Sherman took only one question, and after the pair referenced a number of personal sponsors - many of which are not NFL sponsors - walked off without speaking about the matchup with the 49ers. The pair prepped briefly and notified the companies they were going to mention ahead of time. Seattle coach Pete Carroll told San Francisco reporters he had not seen the performance. "It's fun to use your time in the NFL to speak about something you care about, right? Right?" Sherman said in his back-and-forth with Baldwin. "Because then you don't get fined $100,000. You don't get fined at all for this. This is how they want us to talk, right? This is what they want us to do. They want us to advertise, right Doug?" Their targets were wide ranging, including headphones, soup, clothing, sandwiches and juice. The cardboard cutout of Baldwin was actually an advertisement that's also on display at Subway restaurants in the Seattle area. Sherman immediately mentioned his endorsement deal with Beats by Dre. The league has an agreement with Bose. The league has told players they cannot wear unauthorized equipment until 90 minutes after the completion of games. San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick was fined earlier this year for wearing Beats headphones during a postgame news conference. "The league doesn't let me say anything about them. Why is that?" Sherman asked. Baldwin's response: "I don't know. Sounds kind of hypocritical to me." Sherman made note of Campbell's Soup - another personal endorsement - and how it could be helpful with cold and flu season approaching. "Speaking of health, how do you feel about the NFL making you play two games in five days?" Baldwin asked. "I almost didn't realize that because they've been talking about player safety so much," Sherman responded. "It's like two games in five days doesn't seem like you care about player safety. It's a little bit much for me."

Wed, 26 Nov 2014 01:13:34 +0000
Red Sox introduce new signings Sandoval, Hanley Ramirez

BOSTON (AP) Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez spent the last two seasons as NL West rivals. Now they're teammates in Boston, the result of a $183 million spending spree the Red Sox are hoping will lift them out of the AL East cellar. "It's exciting for me to be with Hanley and David Ortiz," Sandoval said Tuesday at Fenway Park after finishing up a five-year, $95 million contract that adds him to a lineup he called "The Three Amigos." About five hours later, the Red Sox completed their day-night news conference doubleheader by announcing Ramirez's four-year deal, which is worth $88 million. A former Red Sox prospect, Ramirez was traded to the Marlins nine Thanksgivings ago in a deal that brought Mike Lowell and Josh Beckett to Boston. "Why not go back where you belong?" Ramirez said. "It worked out for the both of us: You guys won a couple of world championships. I haven't won any, but that's what I'm here for." Sandoval helped the Giants win three titles, earning the World Series MVP in 2012 and the nickname "Kung Fu Panda" that helped cement him as a fan favorite. He thanked the Giants for bringing him up as a big leaguer and Giants' fans for their support. "I want a new challenge. I need a new challenge," he said at his afternoon news conference. "I know that I had a great career in San Francisco. But I'm going to have a new one here." Sandoval helps fill a hole in the Red Sox lineup for a third baseman and a left-handed bat. Ramirez, who played shortstop and a little third base with the Marlins and Los Angeles Dodgers, is expected to move to left field. "You're always trying to get a sense of where they might fit in," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "We're not even at Thanksgiving yet. The potential for some other additions might exist." Sandoval's deal includes a team option for 2020 and Ramirez's contract has a vesting option for 2019. A 28-year-old Venezuelan listed at 5-foot-11 and 248 pounds, Sandoval was seen as a potential replacement at designated hitter when Ortiz retires. But Sandoval said he plans to manage his weight so he can remain in the field. Both players praised Ortiz, and Ramirez also said Dustin Pedroia helped recruit him to Boston. "He said, `I've got two rings. You don't have any. I want some more,"' Ramirez said. "That kind of thing pumps you up." Sandoval said Ortiz gave him advice when he was in the minor leagues that he has carried with him. Having a chance to play with Ortiz, who was the Series MVP in 2013, was a factor that attracted him to Boston. "To be Papi's teammate - 162 games, all that with him - for me, it's going to be a very exciting time," said Sandoval, who had dinner with Ramirez on Monday night. Ramirez agreed, saying Ortiz was "like a big brother to me." Sandoval is a career .294 hitter who had 16 homers and 73 RBIs in the regular season this year and then hit .366 in the postseason while helping the Giants win their third World Series in five years. "He really embodies a lot of what we care about," Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said. "He's been a big winner. He's been a performer when it counts the most. He's respected as a teammate, loves to play. We think he fits what we're all about here. We're excited to have him." A 30-year-old infielder who has never played the outfield in 1,634 professional games, Ramirez batted .300 with 13 homers and 71 RBIs for Los Angeles this year. Cherington, who watched Ramirez learn to play shortstop in the minors, said he is confident Ramirez can take on a new position. For now, the Red Sox are overloaded with outfielders and short on pitchers, having acquired Allen Craig and Yoenis Cespedes at the July trade deadline while shipping off four-fifths of the rotation. "We've got a ways to go in the offseason," Farrell said. To clear the roster spots, the Red Sox designated first baseman-catcher Ryan Lavarnway and infielder Juan Francisco for assignment.

Wed, 26 Nov 2014 00:34:00 +0000
Rose exits early as Bulls fall to Lawson, Nuggets

DENVER (AP) Ty Lawson scored 20 points, including a key jumper in the waning seconds, and the Denver Nuggets beat the Chicago Bulls 114-109 on Tuesday night for their fifth straight win. Arron Afflalo added 19 points and Danilo Gallinari had 15 for the Nuggets, who defeated the Bulls for the eighth straight time in Denver. Bulls point guard Derrick Rose was limited to 10 minutes in his second game back from a left hamstring strain. Rose, who scored 18 points in his return Monday night against Utah after a four-game absence, felt tightness in the hamstring during the first quarter and didn't play the rest of the way. Jimmy Butler had 32 points for Chicago.

Wed, 26 Nov 2014 04:48:00 +0000
Curry's 40 points power Warriors past Heat 114-97

MIAMI (AP) Stephen Curry scored 40 points, and the Golden State Warriors beat the Miami Heat 114-97 on Tuesday night for their sixth consecutive victory. Golden State scored 14 straight points to open a 107-95 lead with 2:50 to go. Curry and Thompson capped the run with consecutive 3-pointers. Thompson had 24 points for the Warriors, who shot 57 percent. Curry was 12 for 19 from the field, including an 8-for-11 performance from 3-point range. Chris Bosh scored 26 points for Miami, and Luol Deng had 16. James Ennis' dunk with 9:11 left was the Heat's last field goal. Miami led by 16 in the first half, but Golden State closed the second quarter with a 23-8 surge. Draymond Green made two free throws with 9.8 seconds left to cut the Heat's lead to 62-61 at the break. Golden State carried the momentum over to the second half. Curry hit three 3-pointers in the third period, and his two free throws with 58.2 seconds remaining put Golden State ahead, 89-82. The Heat got off to a nice start, opening a 31-22 lead on Mario Chalmers' corner 3-pointer with 1:51 left in the first quarter. --- TIP-INS Warriors: G Leandro Barbosa played four minutes and scored two points after spraining his right knee in the Warriors' win over Orlando on Sunday. ... Early in the first period, Andrew Bogut grabbed a defensive rebound, dribbled the length of the court and made a behind-the-back pass from the baseline to Green, who scored on a layup. ... F David Lee (strained left hamstring) missed his 12th straight game. Heat: F-C Chris Andersen's injury woes continue. Andersen sat out Tuesday's game after injuring his left ankle early in Miami's win over Charlotte on Sunday. Earlier in the season, Andersen missed four games because of bruised ribs. ... G Dwyane Wade (left hamstring) missed his seventh straight game. ... Norris Cole returned to the starting lineup after missing the previous two games because of a dislocated left middle finger. UP NEXT Warriors: Visit Orlando on Wednesday. Heat: Visit New York on Sunday.

Wed, 26 Nov 2014 03:36:00 +0000
No. 3 Arizona beats Kansas State 72-68 in Maui

LAHAINA, Hawaii (AP) Kaleb Tarczewski scored 18 points, Gabe York added 15 and No. 3 Arizona hung on to win its first close game of the season, beating Kansas State 72-68 Tuesday in the Maui Invitational semifinals. Arizona (5-0) had rolled through its first four games despite some slow starts and shot 53 percent against Kansas State, yet couldn't shake the scrappy Wildcats. Trailing by nine in the second half, Kansas State (3-2) whittled the lead down to a single possession in the final minute. Arizona went up 69-64 after three free throws by Stanley Johnson and York, but Marcus Foster cut the lead to two on a 3-pointer with 11 seconds left. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson finally helped Arizona secure a spot in Wednesday night's championship game by hitting two free throws with 4 seconds left. Johnson finished with 14 points and seven rebounds. Foster scored 23 points and went 6 for 9 from 3-point range for Kansas State. Arizona has been plagued by slow starts this season, and the Maui opener against Missouri was no different. The Wildcats, as they did in previous games, pulled away in the second half for a 19-point win - but they probably couldn't afford another uninspired start against Kansas State. In their tournament opener, the Wildcats jumped on Purdue early, creating easy scoring opportunities through turnovers while building a 15-point lead. Kansas State let up down the stretch to let the Boilermakers back in it, but pulled out a physical victory. A fast start was no problem for either team in the semifinals. Playing quickly in both directions, Arizona and Kansas State traded athletic plays - Johnson's tomahawk dunk down the lane was a highlight - and baskets in an entertaining opening 10 minutes. Neither team was able to get much separation, and the half ended with Stephen Hurt jamming in a putback at the buzzer to pull Kansas State to 31-30. The second half continued the same way until T.J. McConnell and York hit consecutive 3-pointers to put Arizona up 52-43 midway through. Kansas State clawed its way back, pulling to 66-64 on a 3-pointer by Foster with 2:30 left. K-State kept fighting back each time, but couldn't complete the comeback as Arizona hit six of eight free throws in the final 22 seconds. --- TIP-INS Kansas State: Foster is a combined 16 for 28 the past two games after going 1 for 13 in a loss to Long Beach State. Arizona: Johnson was called for two fouls 90 seconds into the second half and had to sit down with four. He returned 6 minutes later for a short stint and came back with 7:15 left. UP NEXT Kansas State faces the loser between Pittsburgh and No. 15 San Diego State in Wednesday's third-place game. Arizona will play the Pitt-SDSU winner in Wednesday night's title game.

Wed, 26 Nov 2014 03:15:00 +0000
Red Sox spend on Sandoval, Ramirez to shake cellar

BOSTON (AP) The Red Sox are hoping to spend their way out of the AL East cellar with two big free agent signings. The first team in major league history to go from worst to first and back again has agreed to terms third baseman Pablo Sandoval, his agent confirmed Monday night. According to a baseball official with knowledge of the deal, Boston also agreed to a deal with Hanley Ramirez, who came up to the major leagues with the Red Sox. The official confirmed both agreements on the condition of anonymity because the players hadn't passed physicals. The Ramirez deal was expected to be finalized Tuesday. The moves give the Red Sox a potent batting order that includes two of the last three World Series MVPs, Sandoval and David Ortiz. But they still have to replace the four starting pitchers they traded last summer. Sandoval, 28, is a career .294 hitter who had 16 homers and 73 RBIs in the regular season this year and then hit .366 in the postseason while helping the Giants win their third World Series in five years. With his everyman body type and colorful nickname - Kung Fu Panda - the switch hitter was a fan favorite in the Bay Area. "He has been with us through some of the greatest moments in San Francisco Giants history - including all three World Series championships," the Giants said in a statement. "We will never forget his World Series MVP performance in 2012 and his numerous contributions to the 2014 championship. His connection with Giants fans - young and old - is truly special, and he will be greatly missed. We wish him nothing but the best in Boston." Ramirez came up in the Red Sox system and was still a prospect when he was traded to the Florida Marlins in the deal that brought Josh Beckett and future World Series MVP Mike Lowell to Boston. The 30-year-old shortstop batted .300 with 13 homers and 71 RBIs for Los Angeles this year. Boston already seems set at shortstop with 22-year-old Xander Bogaerts, and with Sandoval at third they are expected to move Ramirez to left field. He has never played outfield in the majors. The moves give the Red Sox a surplus of outfielders, with Ramirez potentially joining Yoenis Cespedes, Rusney Castillo, Shane Victorino, Jackie Bradley Jr. Allen Craig, Mookie Betts and Daniel Nava. They are expected to shop some of the extras for pitching, which they have been lacking since dealing Jon Lester, John Lackey, Jake Peavy and Felix Doubrount near the July 31 deadline for trades without waivers. Boston will not forfeit the No. 7 overall pick in June's amateur draft but will give up the second and third selections. --- AP Baseball Writer Janie McCauley and AP Sports Writer Eric Nunez contributed to this report.

Tue, 25 Nov 2014 01:00:00 +0000
Browns QB Manziel involved in hotel scuffle

CLEVELAND (AP) A Browns fan who says he wanted to give Johnny Manziel "a hug" was struck by the rookie quarterback's entourage at a downtown hotel and was left with a swollen eye and lip, police said. Police were called to The Metropolitan at The 9, where Manziel has a luxury apartment, after a fight broke out at 2:25 a.m. Saturday. According to a police report, Chris Gonos told police he was assaulted by "Johnny Football and his entourage." The 33-year-old fan said he and his girlfriend approached Manziel while waiting for an elevator and he told the popular first-round draft pick: "I'm the biggest Browns fan ever. I love you. I want to give you a hug." Gonos said he took one step toward Manziel and was punched by a man listed on the report as Dana Kirk. Gonos contends he was struck several times in the face and "pushed and attacked" by a group of unidentified men who were with Manziel. Kirk said Gonos tried to assault Manziel, and he defended the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner. Gonos sustained a swollen lip and right eye, the report said. No arrests were made. The report also said the hotel manager said cameras located near the elevators may have captured video of the dispute. Browns general manager Ray Farmer said in a statement the team is gathering more information to understand what happened. "Nonetheless, the time of the incident is concerning to us. We continually stress to all of our players the importance of sound decision making in an effort to avoid putting themselves in these types of situations," Farmer said. "We have addressed this appropriately with the player and will have no further comment at this time." Browns coach Mike Pettine said he has spoken with Manziel about the incident and that QB did not break any team rules. Pettine would not divulge any details of his meeting with Manziel. "It was a conversation between a coach and a player," said Pettine, who added he had not seen video of the altercation. Manziel, who has been on the field for only a handful of plays this season, traveled with the Browns for their Sunday game in Atlanta. His late hours and social life became an issue during the offseason when he was photographed at various nightclubs. Manziel has spent his first season in the NFL backing up starter Brian Hoyer, who has pushed the Browns (7-4) into playoff contention. Hoyer threw three interceptions on Sunday but rallied Cleveland to a last-second, 26-24 win over the Falcons. Pettine said the Browns coaching staff did not consider switching to Manziel during the game. --- Online: AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

Tue, 25 Nov 2014 01:00:00 +0000
LeBron on Cavaliers' issues: "I stink"

CLEVELAND (AP) The Cleveland Cavaliers are struggling, and then some. LeBron James believes he's a major reason for their early failures. "We got a four-game losing streak, so I stink," he said. "I'm not doing my job." With the Cavs at 5-7, playing uninspired and not close to living up to enormous expectations, James offered the blunt critique of his own game Monday at the team's shootaround as they prepared to host the Orlando Magic. After a day spent with family and watching football, James, who called the Cavs "fragile" following Saturday night's loss to the Toronto Raptors, said he has to do a better job leading the way. He's staying positive, cognizant that if he isn't upbeat his teammates will follow his example. "Me being the leader of the team, if I start hanging my head low then it's going to start going to everyone else," he said. "They look up to me. They look to me to make a difference and I've got to stay positive even through the rough times. As I've said before, this is not the darkest point that we'll see this year. I've seen dark and this is very light to me." Cleveland, picked by many to win the NBA title in James' homecoming season, went 0-4 last week with losses to Denver, San Antonio, Washington and Toronto. James wasn't himself, averaging just 18 points per game, committing a turnover in the closing seconds of the loss to the Spurs and inexplicably not hustling back on defense in the loss to the Wizards. He's made uncharacteristically foolish passes and shown frustration with his body language. James has tried to send messages to his teammates during interview sessions. After the loss to Toronto, he cautioned that the Cavs' problems would probably grow worse before they got better, a forecast that chilled some Cleveland fans already dealing with the onset of an early winter. On Monday, James said the Cavs' tough times could linger. "This is not the biggest adversity point that we'll hit," he said. "Do I think we're going to get to the finals? I don't know. I don't know what the future holds, but from my perspective it's not as bad as it may seem." James' reference point for "dark" times is different from any of his teammates. He often sites the 2011 NBA Finals, when he and the Miami Heat squandered a 2-1 lead and lost in six games to the Dallas Mavericks, as the low point of his career. The collapse haunts James. "It's still here with me," he said. "I think about it every day. Every day at some point something that happened in that series pops in my head." When he was in Miami, James had All-Star Dwyane Wade, a former NBA champion, to help him lead. He doesn't have that luxury in Cleveland. While Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love are elite players, neither have been through the grind of a championship season. He's going it alone, and to this point the load has been heavy for James. "It's a different feeling," he said. "But something I was ready for. I knew it would be the biggest challenge of my career thus far, and I accept the challenge. When we lose I take full responsibility and when we win the team wins, that's what it's all about."

Mon, 24 Nov 2014 18:50:00 +0000
Longtime NHL coach, executive Pat Quinn dies at 71

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) Pat Quinn, a former defenseman and longtime NHL coach and executive who brought a gruff and passionate presence to hockey across the decades, has died at 71. He died Sunday night in Vancouver after a long illness, the Hockey Hall of Fame and the Western Hockey League's Vancouver Giants said Monday. Quinn was co-owner of the team. Quinn played parts of nine seasons in the NHL and went on to coach the Philadelphia Flyers, Los Angeles Kings, Vancouver Canucks and Toronto Maple Leafs. Quinn guided Canada to the championship at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, the country's first gold medal in men's hockey in 50 years. He was behind the bench when Canada won the World Cup of Hockey in 2004. "Pat Quinn was a giant of the hockey world, on the ice and off," Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said on Twitter. Quinn coached Vancouver to the 1994 Stanley Cup final, the Canadian world junior team to gold in 2009 and helped the Maple Leafs reach the Eastern Conference finals two times. "Whether he was playing for a team, coaching a team or building one, Pat Quinn was thoughtful, passionate and committed to success," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. "Pat's contributions to hockey, at every level, reflected the skills he possessed and the great respect with which he treated the sport." Broadcaster and executive John Davidson described Quinn as "a guy that loves the game so much that when he walks in, you know hockey's in the room." Quinn led the Philadelphia Flyers to a 35-game unbeaten streak in the 1979-80 season that almost certainly will never be broken since ties have been taken out of the game. In 15 full seasons as an NHL coach, Quinn's teams missed the playoffs only three times. That success came over the span of decades, as a coach and executive. "He's not unlike a Scotty Bowman in that they're really bright guys," said former Washington Capitals GM George McPhee, who worked under him in Vancouver and made his son Graham's middle name Quinn in tribute. "They were really intelligent and they could see the trends, they could see the fads, the things that were going to come and go and the things that would stay. Very perceptive and he adjusted and advanced." Quinn was admired by those close to him for having a heart to match his 6-foot-3, 200-plus-pound frame. "He's a real guy's guy. He's a man's man," Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon said. "He's just a straight shooter and called it like it is." Quinn was born in Hamilton, Ontario, on Jan. 29, 1943. He bounced around the minors before making his NHL debut with the Leafs in 1968. In the 1969 playoffs, his blindside hit on Bobby Orr knocked out the legendary defenseman. Quinn also played for the Canucks and Atlanta Flames before retiring in 1977 with an ankle injury. Almost immediately, he went into coaching and was an assistant on Fred Shero's staff in Philadelphia. During the 1978-79 season, he replaced Bob McCammon as the Flyers' coach. "Pat brought a complete change to the game that we had made so successful under Shero," said Bobby Clarke, a Hall of Fame player for the Flyers, later their GM and now the team's senior vice president. "You trusted what he was trying to implement with our team." Quinn became the coach of the Los Angeles Kings after his dismissal in Philadelphia. He left Los Angeles to take the job of president and GM in Vancouver. He returned to coaching during the 1990-91 season and won his second coach of the year title with the Canucks the next season when they went 42-26-12. Perhaps his most memorable accomplishment came when the Canucks, seeded seventh in the Western Conference, beat Calgary, Dallas and Toronto to reach the Stanley Cup final in the 1993-94 season. The Canucks made it to Game 7 before losing to the New York Rangers. Quinn went back to the front office in Vancouver, where he remained until he was fired by new ownership in 1997. Quinn returned to coaching in 1998 when he was hired by the Maple Leafs. Toronto went to the Eastern Conference final in his first season in 1998-99 and again in 2002. During the 2002 East final, Quinn missed two games with heart problems. "He allowed himself to get overweight, he smoked the cigars and loved to socialize," Clarke said. The Leafs made the playoffs in Quinn's first five seasons, which included a stint as president and GM. He "had a presence in the dressing room that demanded respect and had a way of talking and getting the guys ready for each game that really got the best out of the teams that he coached," longtime Leafs captain Mats Sundin said. Quinn was fired after the Leafs missed the playoffs in the first season after the 2004-05 lockout and the first one in the NHL played under a salary cap. After three years away, he coached the Edmonton Oilers for one season in 2009-10. Quinn most recently spent time as chairman of the Hockey Hall of Fame. "He was obviously very, very competitive when he coached and when he played and when he managed," said Davidson, president of the Columbus Blue Jackets and chairman of the Hall of Fame's selection committee. "But he's a guy that obviously wants to be around the game." McPhee spoke of the impact Quinn left on people. "Pat was one of the most phenomenal human beings I've ever known," he said. "A lot of us feel really, really lucky that we got to work for him."

Mon, 24 Nov 2014 18:59:00 +0000
Johnson, Martinez, Smoltz on Hall of Fame ballot

NEW YORK (AP) Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz are among 17 newcomers on baseball's 2015 Hall of Fame ballot. Craig Biggio, who fell two votes short of the 75 percent needed in the 2014 balloting, tops 17 holdovers on the Baseball Writers' Association of America ballot announced Monday. That group includes Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Mike Piazza, Jeff Bagwell and Tim Raines. Johnson went 303-166 and won five Cy Young Awards. The Big Unit struck out 4,875 batters, second only to Nolan Ryan's 5,714. Martinez, a three-time Cy Young winner, was 219-100 and struck out 3,154. He led the major leagues in ERA five times. Smoltz is vying to join former Atlanta teammates Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, who were inducted this year along with Chicago White Sox slugger Frank Thomas. Smoltz had a 213-155 record and 154 saves, the only pitcher with 200 wins and 150 saves. He was 15-4 in the postseason. Carlos Delgado, Nomar Garciaparra, Gary Sheffield and players' association head Tony Clark also are among the first-time eligibles. Don Mattingly will appear on the ballot for the 15th and final time after receiving 8 percent last year. The Hall's board voted in July to cut a player's eligibility from 15 years to 10 but grandfathered players in the 11-15 group, which also includes Alan Trammell (14th year) and Lee Smith (13th). Players who have admitted steroids use or been tainted with accusations of use have fallen short. McGwire, entering his next-to-last year of eligibility, received 11 percent last year, down from a peak of 25.6 in 2008. Clemens, a seven-time Cy Young Award winner, dropped from 38 percent to 35 percent in his second ballot appearance. Bonds, a seven-time MVP and baseball's career home run leader, fell from 36 percent to 35. Sosa, who hit 609 homers, dropped from 13 percent to 7 and is close to falling below the 5 percent threshold for remaining on the ballot. Voters are the approximately 600 writers who have been members of the BBWAA for 10 consecutive years at any point. Ballots must be postmarked by Dec. 27. Results will be announced Jan. 6. Players elected, along with choices announced Dec. 8 by the golden era committee (1947-72), will be inducted July 26 at Cooperstown.

Tue, 25 Nov 2014 02:19:00 +0000