Baseball Hall of Fame
Congratulations to Ken Griffey, Jr. and Mike Piazza who were voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Wednesday by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWA). Both are extremely deserving, and Ken Griffey, Jr. set a new standard for percentage of voting obtained, with 99.3% (437 out of 440); the previous record was held by Tom Seaver, who obtained 98.8% (425 out of 430) of the vote in 1992. Jeff Bagwell (15 votes), Tim Raines (23 votes), and Trevor Hoffman (34 votes) fell just short of election…are well postured to obtain induction in 2017 up against first-time eligible players in former OFs Manny Ramirez and OF Vladimir Guerrero, along with C Ivan Rodriguez. Other players making positive jumps this year: P Curt Schilling (from 39 to 52%), P Mike Mussina (25 to 43%), and DH Edgar Martinez (27 to 43%).
New York Knicks
The Knicks won 3 in a row over the last week: a home-and-home against the Atlanta Hawks, and on Wednesday night, a 98-90 win in Miami against the Heat. Healthy and re-energized this season, PF Carmelo Anthony scored an efficient 25 points on 9-of-12 shooting at Miami and helped the Knicks end their 8-game losing streak against the Heat. The Knicks are 18-19 nearly halfway through this season, and have surpassed their 17 wins of 2014-2015 (17-65). SG Aaron Afflalo scored 37 points and hit 7-of-8 three-point Field Goals against the Hawks at MSG, sparking the win last Sunday. The interior defense of C Robin Lopez, the youthful energy of #1 pick Kristaps Porzingis, and improved play of PG Jose Calderon are all positive catalysts through the first half of the season. Defense is making a big difference — the Knicks are allowing 99.4 points/game, ranking 11th in the NBA…the “D” is much improved from the last two disappointing seasons. The Knicks are 1.5 games out of the 8th and final playoff spot in the much-improved Eastern Conference as they head into the weekend. Over the next week, the Knicks will play: Fri, 8 Jan at San Antonio; Sun, 10 Jan vs. Milwaukee; Tue, 12 Jan vs. Boston; Wed, 13 Jan at Brooklyn.
Mike Lalor can be heard talking about New York sports on the Spadora on Sports radio program. His blog can be found at SpadoraonSports.com.