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Hall of Fame voting totals favor Curt Schilling’s eventual enshrinement, but Nomar Garciaparra falls off ballot

A couple of Red Sox-related Hall of Fame notes . . .

Right-hander Curt Schilling saw one of the biggest jumps of any candidate. The big right-hander shot from 39.2 percent of the vote last year to 52.3 percent this year, his fifth season on the ballot.

This would seem to bode well for the Big Schill, whose candidacy got mired in the PED backlog that cost a number of borderline candidates votes over the last two or three years.

Schilling has five years to gain the remaining 22.7 percent required for enshrinement, and as the years pass, his postseason accomplishments and historic strikeout-to-walk rate (4.383, greatest since 1900) should sway enough voters to his side.

Speaking on the Bradfo Show podcast recently, Schilling said he’s at peace with not getting in, even if he doesn’t understand the electorate sometimes.

“The hard part for me is I don’t want to say the things I say and diminish what I think the Hall of Fame represents,” he said. “But it is the most subjective thing I’ve ever been around. I read an article the other day about a writer that didn’t vote for me, and he didn’t vote for me because I only had 216 wins. And John Smoltz he voted for because he had 214 wins. I made peace with it a long time ago.”

One ex-Sox star who won’t be getting in is Nomar Garciaparra. The former Rookie of the Year, All-Star, and batting champ received only eight votes (1.8 percent) and lost his spot on the ballot.

Blog Author: 
John Tomase

Afternoon Delight: ‘Gay men touch boobs for the first time’

My sainted Irish Catholic mom raised me to believe that all people have their own wants, needs and biological functions. And to treat all of them with the same amount of shame and embarrassment. Therefore I respect these guys’ lifestyles.

But that doesn’t mean I can relate to these reactions. Fellas, do whatever makes you happy. But take my word for it, you are missing out.
 

@JerryThornton1

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Blog Author: 
Jerry Thornton

IIWII Cast: Bengals, Steelers, Chiefs, Texans and why Matt Patricia may just wind up staying put

This week’€™s It Is What It Is Cast takes a look at what’€™s going on around the NFL this wild card weekend, namely will Mike Petraglia’€™s hometown Bengals and Marvin Lewis finally win a playoff game. Trags has some tips for Cincy as host Chris Price asks all the right questions. If the Bengals win, the Patriots and Cincy will meet on Jan. 16 at Gillette. If the Bengals bungle it up again, it’€™ll be the winner of the Chiefs and Texans. And how seriously will Matt Patricia and Josh McDaniels be considered for open coaching jobs in Cleveland, Miami and New York.

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

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Blog Author: 
WEEI

Ken Griffey Jr., Mike Piazza earn induction into Baseball Hall of Fame

Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza earned induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Wednesday, with Griffey pulling the highest percentage of votes in history — but failing to become the first unanimous selection.

Griffey was named on more than 99 percent of the 440 ballots cast by the Baseball Writers Association of America, easily beating the 75 percent threshold required for enshrinement. Griffey was named on all but three ballots.

Those falling short included outfielder Tim Raines, who has become a cause celebre on social media, as well as Astros slugging first baseman Jeff Bagwell, who fell 15 votes shy.

Support rose for a number of players, including ex-Red Sox starter Curt Schilling, who appeared on 52.3 percent of the ballots, just ahead of Roger Clemens (45.2) and Barry Bonds (44.3).

Blog Author: 
John Tomase

Mike Petraglia, Chris Price talk Josh McDaniels, Matt Patricia and if Bengals can finally beat Steelers

FOXBORO — With the Patriots enjoying their wild-card bye week by virtue of their No. 2 seed in the AFC playoff picture, WEEI.com’s Mike Petraglia and Chris Price discuss what’s next for coordinators Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia and whether they are serious candidates for job openings in Cleveland, Miami and the New York Giants. Petraglia and Price also discuss this weekend’s key AFC wild card games between the Steelers and Bengals and the Chiefs and Texans.

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

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Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

DE Jabaal Sheard ready for first playoff experience

Jabaal Sheard finished the season with eight sacks. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Jabaal Sheard finished the season with eight sacks. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — Patriots defensive end Jabaal Sheard spent his first four seasons in the league with the Browns, never once playing in a playoff game.

Following his first season with the Patriots, Sheard is gearing up for his first playoff game a week from Saturday at Gillette Stadium.

“It’s a blessing,” Sheard said. “I mean, you work hard for it. That is what the whole season is about. Now we’re here, start all over and hit the reset button.”

Added Sheard: “You hear a lot of different things. I personally am just going to treat it like a game. Treat it like it’s a regular game that we are not overly excitement. I’m just going to go out there and work as hard as I can and do my job.”

Sheard signed with the Patriots for $11 million over two seasons, while leaving a few other offers on the table. The defensive end said he didn’t really think about playing in the playoffs at the time of the signing.

“It was a possibility, but I didn’t really think about it,” he said. “Just wanted to be apart of the team here. Get to work.”

The defensive end worked well with Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich to create consistent pressure on the opposition. As a defense, the Patriots finished with 49 sacks this season, the most ever by a Bill Belichick coached team.

Belichick praised Sheard on Wednesday.

“Good, really professional, works hard, trains hard,” Belichick said. “He’€™s got good skills, got good playing strength, good technique. He does a good job and he’€™s fit in well. He’€™s been a good teammate. Guys really like working with him, coaches. He’€™s given us a lot of versatility.”

Sheard finished the season with eight sacks, the most since his rookie season when he had 8.5. He feels like he could have been even better.

“I feel like I got better throughout the season,” Sheard said. “There is still room for improvement. Definitely going to continue to get better.”

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Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

Minor league hockey team’s Don Cherry jerseys are magical

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I’m not typically the biggest fan of novelty, gimmicky, alternative jerseys. But this is not your typical novelty, gimmicky, alternative jersey. By all objective measures, this is hockey sweater perfection. The only mitigating factor is that the Toledo fricking Walleye beat the Bruins to the punch on this because, with all due respect to all the other coaching legends in this town, no one who ever walked behind or in front of a bench (not named Belichick) was ever as beloved as Don Cherry was. This jersey is so much better than that Winter Classic throwback they’re not even worthy of comparison.

I’m not soliciting late Christmas presents or anything. But if anyone were predisposed to getting me a little something, I’ll take one of these in a Medium and all the awesomeness that comes with it. Thanks in advance.

Blog Author: 
Jerry Thornton

Tom Brady present at Patriots walkthrough

FOXBORO — Tom Brady‘s ankle isn’t hurt bad enough to keep him off the practice field.

The Patriots quarterback was present at Wednesday’s walkthrough held on the practice field behind Gillette Stadium. Brady walked onto the field before lightly jogging to where the offense was going to be set up. There was no sign of a limp.

The media got very limited access with the players not wearing numbers, so a full attendance could not be taken.

Key injured players that were present included: Dont’a Hightower, Julian Edelman, Rob Ninkovich, Danny Amendola, Rob Gronkowski, Chandler Jones, Justin Coleman, Sebastian Vollmer and LaAdrian Waddle.

Since the team doesn’t have a game this week, they are not required to release an injury report.

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

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Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

Patrice Bergeron named NHL All-Star

WILMINGTON — Patrice Bergeron was named an NHL All-Star on Wednesday. The Bruins’ center will represent the Atlantic Division in the new 3-on-3 tournament format in Nashville.

This is the second consecutive and second overall All-Star nod for Patrice Bergeron. The silly event will take place Jan. 30-31 at Bridgestone Arena.

Bergeron leads the Bruins with 37 points. With 15 goals, he’€™s on pace for a career-high 32 goals. Bergeron has hit the 30-goal mark twice in his career, reaching the plateau in 2005-06 (31 goals) and 2014-15 (30).

Other All-Stars include Boston College product Johnny Gaudreau and former Bruins Jaromir Jagr and Tyler Seguin.

Bergeron is the Bruins’ only representative in the tournament, meaning Zdeno Chara will not be able to participate in the Hardest Shot competition for the second-straight All-Star game. Chara holds the record for hardest recorded shot at 108.8 miles per hour, set in 2012.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

Bruins have no update on Adam McQuaid

WILMINGTON — Adam McQuaid, Patrice Bergeron and Zdeno Chara were all missing from Wednesday’€™s practice at Ristuccia Arena.

McQuaid suffered an apparent head injury in the second period of Tuesday’€™s loss to the Capitals. Wednesday marked the second time in three practices dating back to Sunday that Bergeron has not been on the ice.

Claude Julien did not offer an update on the status of McQuaid and termed Chara’€™s and Bergeron’€™s absences maintenance days. The lines in practice were as follows:

Eriksson-(Marchand)-Ferraro
Beleskey-Spooner-Connolly
Vatrano-Kemppainen-Hayes
Rinaldo-Talbot-Randell

Blog Author: 
WEEI