Hall of Fame ballot with debate, 3 ex-Rays
Fresh off the AL MVP discussion, baseball is headed for its next great debate following Wednesday's official release of the 37-man Hall of Fame ballot that includes three prominent newcomers linked to sterioids - Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa.
Ballots will be cast by more than 600 longtime members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America through the month, with results announced Jan. 9 A players needs 75 percent of the vote for induction.
The ballot includes three former Rays: 1B/DH Fred McGriff, the Tampa native with 493 homers who is in his fourth year of eligibility; and first-timers closer Roberto Hernandez, who pitched for the Rays from 1998-2000 and finished his career with 326 saves; and - this one is a bit of a trick question - INF/DH Julio Franco, who got one at-bat for the Rays in 1999 during a 23-year career.
Other notable first-time candidates are Craig Biggio, Mike Piazza and Curt Schilling. The top returning candidates are Jack Morris, Jeff Bagwell and Tim Raines.
Here's a link to the full ballot on the Hall of Fame web site.