NEW YORK — Keep all the cheaters out of our club.
That was the prevailing sentiment from several baseball Hall of Famers who were happy to see Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa excluded from the Cooperstown fraternity Wednesday.
“I’m kind of glad that nobody got in this year,” former Detroit Tigers outfielder Al Kaline said. “I feel honored to be in the Hall of Fame. And I would’ve felt a little uneasy sitting up there on the stage, listening to some of these new guys talk about how great they were.”
Baseball writers pitched a Hall of Fame shutout for 2013, failing to elect anyone for only the second time in 42 years. Among those rejected were a trio of steroid-tainted stars in Bonds, Clemens and Sosa, all eligible for the first time.
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Bonds received 36.2 percent of the vote and Clemens 37.6 in results announced by the Hall and the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, both well short of the 75 percent needed for election. Sosa, eighth on the career home run list with 609, got 12.5 percent.
“Wow! Baseball writers make a statement,” Hall of Fame reliever Dennis Eckersley wrote on Twitter. “Feels right.”
The results keep the game’s career home run leader (Bonds) and most decorated pitcher (Clemens) out of Cooperstown — for now. Bonds, Clemens and Sosa have up to 14 more years on the ballot to gain baseball’s highest honor.
“If they let these guys in ever — at any point — it’s a big black eye for the Hall and for baseball,” Goose Gossage said in a phone interview with The Associated Press.
Hall of Fame pitcher Juan Marichal doesn’t see it that way. He thinks Bonds, Clemens and Sosa belong in Cooperstown.
The BBWAA election rules say “voting shall be based upon the player’s record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.”
Craig Biggio, 20th on the career list with 3,060 hits, came the closest to election. He was chosen on 68.2 percent of the 569 ballots, 39 shy of election. Among other first-year eligibles, Mike Piazza received 57.8 percent and Curt Schilling 38.8. Jack Morris topped holdovers with 67.7 percent.
Mariners designated hitter Edgar Martinez received 204 votes, or 35.9 percent, in his third year of eligibility.
PIRATES ACQUIRE PITCHER
The Pittsburgh Pirates have acquired right-handed pitcher Jeanmar Gomez from the Cleveland Indians in exchange for minor league outfielder Quincy Latimore.
The 24-year-old Gomez is 14-16 with a 5.18 ERA in 42 major league appearances, including 38 starts. Gomez went 5-8 with a 5.96 ERA in 2012 with Cleveland, who he made his major league debut with in 2010, when he allowed two runs or fewer in eight of his 11 starts.