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Media Roundup: It's Guilty Until Proven Innocent For MLB Hall Of Fame Hopefuls

If this recent round of Baseball Hall of Fame voting showed anything, it's that the BBWAA is operating with a "guilty until proven innocent" mentality, writes Bruce Allen.

HOUSTON - AUGUST 30:  Houston Astros hitting coach Jeff Bagwell #5 looks on from the dugout at Minute Maid Park during a game against the St. Louis Cardinals on August 30 2010 in Houston Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON - AUGUST 30: Houston Astros hitting coach Jeff Bagwell #5 looks on from the dugout at Minute Maid Park during a game against the St. Louis Cardinals on August 30 2010 in Houston Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
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Results were released this week for the Baseball Hall of Fame voting, and Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven were the only players elected this time around. Jeff Bagwell, in his first year on the ballot, got less than 42% of the votes, despite a 15-year career with the Houston Astros in which he averaged .297, with 449 home runs and 1529 RBI. Former A's and Cardinals slugger Mark McGwire got 19.8% of votes.

The low number of votes for Bagwell has been attributed to the steroid era -- despite never having tested positive for any performance-enhancing drugs. There is admittedly an attitude of "guilty until proved innocent" at work here, as members of the  Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) are hesitant to elect anyone who might've used PED's to improve their numbers.

You can expect a whole lot more of this in the years to come. Members of the (BBWAA) have done a lot hand-wringing this week, publicly agonizing and complaining about the position they are in -- whether or not to allow players suspected of or confirmed to have used PED's into the Hall of Fame.

With more and more players from this era coming up for eligibility in coming years, this issue will get worse as time goes on. 

Here are three worthwhile articles on the subject from this week:

Bert Blyleven Got In Because Voters Are Irrational, And Other Hall Of Fame Revelations - Deadspin.com

Ego and bias damaging the Baseball Hall of Fame - Ed Berliner

You know what assuming does to the BBWAA - Eric Wilbur

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It's a rough week for the Patriots writers, who don't have a game to cover this weekend, and apparently are getting nothing from the players in the locker room this week. Not being spoon-fed stories with quotes has forced many of the writers to be more creative and work on larger features, such as the three part series Ian Rapoport had in the Boston Herald this week on how the Patriots have been rebuilt in just a year following the embarrassing playoff loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

Greg Bedard had a nice piece on the new overtime rules for the playoffs, which seem more and more ridiculous the more you look at them. Other pieces have looked at the growth of the defense, and a favorite of mine, Deion Branch getting back in the playoffs with Tom Brady.

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Longtime Boston Herald sports columnist Steve Buckley revealed in his Thursday column that he is gay. Buckley had been wrestling with his personal life for years. Working in a field that is ultra-conservative, there were surely plenty of uncomfortable moments for Buckley, who then appeared on WEEI's Big Show that afternoon to further talk about his decision. He explained that this was something that he had wanted to do for some time, but the timing never seemed to be just right.

A cynical Michael Felger on 98.5 the same afternoon pointed out that Buckley was on WEEI with Glenn Ordway that afternoon (actually naming the call letters -- unheard of!) and that the new ratings period for radio also just happened to begin that day.

Buckley was not the first Herald sportswriter to come out and reveal himself as gay. Back in 2003, Ed Gray, who covered horse racing, boxing, as well as the major sports for the paper, also wrote a column coming out. Gray accepted a buyout from the paper shortly thereafter, but has written pieces for the paper on a freelance basis occasionally since that time.

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The Patriots set a franchise record this season in terms of television ratings, with an average 34.86 household (HH) rating during the 2010 season. The December 19th Sunday night matchup against the Green Bay Packers garnered the highest number of the season, pulling in a 42.62 rating.