Cooperstown set for blue chippers

Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Baseball

A: Probably Mike Mussina.

Q: Are Bonds and Clemens really going to get shut out of Cooperstown?

A: It's possible that there never will be a plaque for the only seven-time MVP and the only seven-time Cy Young Award winner. Neither has been shut out of the Cooperstown museum; the Hall displayed the ball Bonds hit for his record 756th home run, bought by a collector and then decorated by an asterisk.

But as far as an election and the plaque that comes with it, Bonds and Clemens have four years remaining on the BBWAA ballot.

With 75 percent of the votes required for election, Bonds and Clemens each got 54 percent last year. Neither is expected to get to 60 percent this year, according to projections based on Thibodaux's calculations.

Q: Who are the most prominent players set to appear on the ballot for the first time next year?

A: Mariano Rivera, Todd Helton, Andy Pettitte and the late Roy Halladay.

Q: If Guerrero decides to wear a Montreal Expos cap on his Hall of Fame plaque, when might the Angels finally get one of their caps on a player's plaque?

A: Could be a while. Mike Trout is 26.

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Q: When was the last time the Dodgers got their cap on a Cooperstown plaque?

A: Twenty years ago with Don Sutton. In the interim, they traded Pedro Martinez and Mike Piazza, each of whom since has been inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Q: Who's next for the Dodgers?

A: Could be a while for them, too. Clayton Kershaw is 29.

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