NEW YORK (AP)Slick-fielding third baseman Scott Rolen was elected to baseball’s Hall of Fame on Tuesday with five votes to spare above the 75% needed.
The seven-time All-Star and eight-time Gold Glove winner earned induction in his sixth appearance on the ballot, picked on 297 of 389 ballots cast by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America for 76.3%. A player needed 292 votes for election.
He became the 18th third baseman elected to the Hall, the fewest of any position. Rolen will join Fred McGriff, elected last month by the contemporary baseball era committee, as the inductees at Cooperstown on July 23.
Rolen had a .281 batting average with 316 homers and 1,287 RBIs for Philadelphia (1996-2002), St. Louis (2002-07), Toronto (2008-09) and Cincinnati (2009-12). He was a unanimous pick as the 1997 NL Rookie of the Year and hit .421 as the Cardinals won the 2006 World Series.
Rolen’s five-vote margin tied for the 12th-smallest among players elected by the writers and his 76.3% of the vote was the 10th lowest. Rolen increased from 63.2% last year and 10.2% in his first ballot appearance in 2018.
That became the lowest first-ballot percentage of a player later elected. The previous mark had been Duke Snider’s 17% in 1970. Snider was voted in with 86.5% in 1980.
CLEVELAND (AP) – The case of the stolen scooter has been solved.
Cleveland police recovered Guardians manager Terry Francona’s beloved two-wheeled ride on Tuesday night after it was swiped from outside his downtown apartment this past weekend.
A team spokesman said police located the scooter and arrangements were being made for Francona to pick it up Wednesday. The scooter was being stored with the Cleveland Police traffic unit motorcycles.
Francona, who was named AL Manager of the Year last season, has been riding a scooter from his residence to Progressive Field for years.
Earlier, police spokeswoman Sgt. Jennifer Ciaccia said detectives were checking surveillance video in the area.
The 63-year-old Francona, who spends the offseason in Arizona, was in Cleveland over the weekend for Guards Fest, the team’s annual winter fan festival. He noticed his scooter was missing before attending Saturday’s event.
It’s common to see Francona, known as ”Tito,” waving to fans as he zips around the city. The team had a bobblehead giveaway a few years ago with Francona riding his scooter.
MONTREAL (AP) – NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said Tuesday the league’s investigation into an alleged sexual assault involving members of Canada’s 2018 world junior team is getting ”really close to the end.”
In a media availability at the Bell Centre before the Montreal Canadiens’ game against the Boston Bruins, Bettman said the investigation was ”not a race” and that the goal was to ”get it right.”
Bettman had said on Dec. 13 that the NHL was in the ”home stretch” of its investigation but that there was still work to be done. Bettman attributed the delay to ”dealing with the realities” of everyone involved, not resistance from witnesses.
”Getting access to people on a timely basis, we don’t technically have subpoena power, getting documentary evidence that may be filed in places that you have to get access to,” Bettman said. ”It’s complicated. It’s not like simply saying we want it to happen. But we’re trying to work it through when we get to the end and we want to get it right.”
The NHL began its own review after Hockey Canada settled a lawsuit with a woman who said she was sexually assaulted by eight members of the country’s world junior team at a gala in 2018. Several players from that gold medal-winning team are currently in the NHL.
NEW YORK (AP) – The NHL All-Star Skills Competition is set to feature two new outdoor events in South Florida: a mix of hockey and golf and a dunk tank on the beach.
The league announced details Tuesday for the opening of All-Star Weekend, which is set for Feb. 3-4 in Sunrise and Fort Lauderdale, including the return of women’s hockey players.
In what the NHL is calling ”Pitch ‘n Puck,” six players will play a par 4 with a combination of golf and hockey shots. ”Splash Shot” will involve players shooting pucks at targets to dunk their opponents.
The third new event, taking place indoors, is a goaltender shooting competition. The league started going outside for new skills competition ideas last year on the Las Vegas Strip.
Women’s players have been involved in the skills competition for a few years now and will return with Americans Hilary Knight and Alex Carpenter and Canadians Emily Clark, Rebecca Johnston and Sarah Nurse taking part.
Longtime Florida Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo, who was recently inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, is set to take part in the Breakaway Challenge, one of several mainstays along with the Fastest Skater, Hardest Shot and Accuracy Shooting competitions. The winner of each event earns $30,000.
The NBA All-Star Game is Feb. 19. And nobody will know the All-Star rosters until that night.
Not even the players themselves.
The team captains – probably LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers and either Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo or Brooklyn’s Kevin Durant – will make their picks in a live, televised pregame segment shortly before the game begins in Salt Lake City.
The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association announced the format change on Tuesday night.
This will be the sixth time that the league has used the format where captains choose their teams, but in each of the first five instances the rosters were selected several days before the game.
The captains and starters will be announced on Thursday.