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Biggio got most votes in year where no one got in

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Biggio got most votes in year where no one got in

HOUSTON (AP) Craig Biggio thinks he might have been bypassed for the Hall of Fame because he was on the ballot for the first time with several big stars linked to performance-enhancing drugs.

Biggio received the highest vote total in a year that produced no electees to Cooperstown on Wednesday. Biggio, 20th on the career list with 3,060 hits, appeared on 68.2 percent of the 569 ballots - 39 votes shy.

Steroids Era stars Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa were also on the ballot for the first time and all fell far short of the required 75 percent. Biggio thinks it's unfortunate if he was lumped in with others associated with performance-enhancing drugs

``I think it's kind of unfair, but it's the reality of the era that we played in,'' he said. ``Obviously some guys are guilty and others aren't, and it's painful for the ones that weren't.''

He wasn't completely sure whether feelings about the others played a role in his coming up short.

``I can't get in the minds of the writers, but it's a possibility that that could have definitely been part of the deal,'' he said.

Later, he seemed to tire of the incessant questions about whether being on the ballot with players linked to steroids kept him out of the Hall of Fame this year.

``All I know is that I went out there and played the game and I loved the game and I went out there to win, and we have a lot of flags on that wall out there that represent that, and that's really the most important thing to me,'' he said.

He thinks he probably also was hurt by the preference of some writers not to vote for first-time eligibles. Biggio, who played his entire 20-year career with the Astros, was disappointed but says the exclusivity of the Hall makes getting in mean that much more.

``When you look at the Hall of Fames, that's what makes baseball pretty special, pretty unbelievable. We're not letting six guys in every year,'' Biggio said. ``You had a list of a lot of guys that were very qualified and nobody was let in. It just says a lot about how special that building really is.''

Biggio retired after the 2007 season as Houston's leader in games, at-bats, hits, runs, doubles, extra-base hits and total bases. He is second in franchise history in RBIs and stolen bases and has the third-most home runs.

Voting is done by writers who have been members of the BBWAA for 10 straight years at any point. Biggio doesn't have a vote, but said he would have voted for both Bonds and Clemens if he did.

``Barry Bonds was the greatest hitter that I've ever played against ... and Roger was one of the greatest pitchers of all time,'' he said. ``I would have yes, I think those guys are Hall of Fame players. Barry and Roger, their numbers speak for themselves and what they did on a baseball field speaks for itself.''

Fellow Astro Jeff Bagwell also was among the top vote-getters with 59.6 percent. He debuted in 2011 with 41.7 percent and jumped to 56 percent a year ago.

Biggio said it would be special to get inducted alongside his longtime teammate and friend.

``We got a 68, and I'm going to go back and study a little harder and hopefully get a 75 next year,'' Biggio said with a chuckle.

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Capitals fans' 'T.J. Oshie' chant will give you goosebumps

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Capitals fans' 'T.J. Oshie' chant will give you goosebumps

T.J. Oshie wasn't on the ice as the Capitals faced the Hurricanes in Game 5, but his presence was felt all around Capital One Arena. 

Oshie was injured on a controversial hit by Warren Foegele during Game 4 in Raleigh. There is no timeline for his return. 

Though the Capitals won't be able to replace Oshie's production, the team called up Devante Smith-Pelly for Game 5 to help compensate for the loss. 

As Washington was wrapping up a 6-0 demolition of Carolina, fans began chanting Oshie's name. The chant was loud enough for the broadcast crew to take notice.

They weren't the only ones. Oshie himself tweeted that he was touched by the cheers. 

The moment was hardly the only Oshie tribute of the evening. Redskins linebacker Ryan Kerrigan did his best Oshie-chug impression while leading the "Let's Go Caps!" cheer inside the arena. 

The Caps are back on the road for Game 6 on Monday. Pregame coverage begins at 5:30 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington and the MyTeams app. 

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Yes, that was Chris Davis on the mound for the Orioles

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Yes, that was Chris Davis on the mound for the Orioles

Chris Davis is known for many things. Towering home runs, playing first base well, and setting record-long hitless streaks are all among them.

What isn’t among them is pitching, yet that’s what he was tasked with doing Saturday night.

In Game Two of the Orioles’ doubleheader with the Twins, Baltimore’s pitching staff was rocked. They allowed 15 runs in the first eight innings of the game, and after 17 innings pitched on the day, manager Brandon Hyde didn’t want to tax his bullpen any further.

He turned to Davis, who last pitched in 2012 during a 17-inning marathon in Boston. Davis didn’t allow any runs that May afternoon seven years ago, giving him a career pitching WAR of an astounding 0.2.

His last appearance was so successful that in his offseason arbitration negotiations, long before his current 7-year, $161 million deal, Davis asked for a small fraction of his contract to specifically be designated for his pitching prowess.

He wasn’t as successful in his outing against the Twins. Considering his first appearance was on the road, maybe now he fully understands why pitching at Camden Yards is so difficult?

In one inning Saturday, Davis allowed two hits and one earned run. More importantly, he recorded a strikeout, the third(!!) of his career on the mound.

Davis may have struggled at the plate in 2019, but at least he never struck out against someone whose job has nothing to do with striking batters out.

Saturday’s games marked the first return to Camden Yards for former Oriole Jonathan Schoop, a fan favorite over the years at second base. Funnily enough, the sole earned run Davis allowed came off a monstrous home run from Schoop.

Considering their long relationship as teammates, it’s no surprise the two were laughing together as Schoop trotted around the bases. 

Apparently, Davis just can’t win this season. First he sets an ignominious record at the plate, and now that he’s finally heating up with the bat, he loses his incredible mojo on the mound.

Hopefully his luck on the mound turns around like it has with the bat. And yes, that means we are very, very interested in more Chris Davis pitching appearances. In a rebuilding season with 100+ losses a distinct possibility, who wouldn’t want more fun like this?

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