Timing might have hurt Craig Biggio's Hall of Fame chances

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Former Houston Astros star Craig Biggio came up 39 votes shy of making it into the Baseball Hall of Fame during voting Wednesday.  PAT SULLIVAN/ASSOCIATED PRESS
PAT SULLIVAN/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Former Houston Astros star Craig Biggio came up 39 votes shy of making it into the Baseball Hall of Fame during voting Wednesday.

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.

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.”

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 RBI and stolen bases and has the third-most home runs.

BRAVES: Announced 21 non-roster invitees for spring training this year.

Notable pitchers from the list include prospects Sean Gilmartin, J.R. Graham and Alex Wood. Left-handed relievers
Yohan Flande and Dusty Hughes.

Catcher Matt Pagnozzi and Evan Gattis could see time at the beginning of the season. Joe Terdoslavich, a sixth-round selection in 2010, is listed as an outfielder for spring camp.

DRUG TESTING: Major League Baseball will test for human growth hormone throughout the regular season and increase efforts to detect abnormal levels of testosterone.

Players were subject to blood testing for HGH during spring training last year, and Thursday’s agreement between management and the players’ association expands that throughout the season.
Those are in addition to urine tests for other performance-enhancing drugs.

Under the changes to baseball’s drug agreement, the World Anti-Doping Agency laboratory in Laval, Quebec, will keep records of each player, including his baseline ratio of testosterone to epitestosterone.

DIAMONDBACKS: A person with knowledge of the situation says outfielder Justin Upton vetoed a trade to Seattle.

The person asked to remain anonymous because Upton’s decision had not been made public. His contract gave him the power to turn down the trade.

Arizona has a glut of outfielders and Upton, a former All-Star, is by far the most marketable. FoxSports.com first reported the veto, which said Seattle offered four players in the deal.

INDIANS: Paul Dolan has been approved by MLB as the controlling owner of the team, taking over from his father Larry. The 53-year-old Dolan was voted approval at owners meeting on Thursday.


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