La Velle E. Neal III has covered baseball for the Star Tribune since 1998 (the post-Knoblauch era). Born and raised in Chicago, he grew up following the White Sox and hating the Cubs. He attended both the University of Illinois and Illinois-Chicago and began his baseball writing career at the Kansas City Star. He can be heard occasionally on KFAN radio, lending his great baseball mind to Paul Allen and other hosts. Mark Rosen borrows him occasionally for WCCO-TV.

Phil Miller covered three seasons of Twins baseball, but that was at a different ballpark for a different newspaper. Now Miller returns to the baseball beat after joining the Star Tribune as the Gopher football writer in 2010, and he won't miss the dingy dome for a minute. In addition to the Twins and Gophers, Miller covered the Utah Jazz and the NBA for six years at The Salt Lake Tribune.

Hall of Fame thoughts....and my ballot

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: January 8, 2014 - 2:21 PM

Congratulations to Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas for being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, and too bad for Craig Biggio, who fell just two votes shy of getting his trip to Cooperstown.

This heavily-scrutinized vote pretty much went as expected. Unfortunately, that means St. Paul's own Jack Morris fell short in his 15th and final year on the ballot.  Morris' Hall of Fame fate now rests in the hands of the Veterans Committee in three years. He's now the first player to receive 67 percent of the vote (as he did last year) and not eventually make it into the Hall.

As I wrote on Sunday, I was in a tough spot this year because I wanted to vote for more than the maximum ten candidates. So I didn't vote for Jeff Bagwell, confident that he would still be on the ballot next year. Hopefully, having three players voted in this year will help break up the logjam we're in now.

It was very disappointing to learn the identity of the person who sold his ballot to a certain website. As president of the Baseball Writer's Association of America, we are examining our options concerning this development. Other than that, we will have no comment.

As for the. `Rule of 10,'  the BBWAA is looking into expanding the maximum number of candidates a voter can select. There already are indications that Biggio, who fell short of election by two votes, would have been the 11th player on a couple of ballots. My concern was that he should have been ranked higher than 11th on ballots since he was so close last year (which is why I dropped Bagwell off of mine), but each voter has the right to fill out his or her ballot as they wish.

Here is my Hall of Fame ballot:

Craig Biggio

Tom Glavine

Greg Maddux

Jack Morris

Mike Piazza

Tim Raines

Curt Schilling

Lee Smith

Frank Thomas

Alan Trammell

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Miami - LP: B. Morris 4 FINAL
Washington - WP: M. Grace 6
NY Yankees - LP: C. Martin 1 FINAL
Toronto - WP: R. Dickey 3
Philadelphia - WP: A. Harang 5 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: A. Wood 2
Tampa Bay - WP: J. Odorizzi 5 FINAL
Boston - LP: C. Buchholz 1
Los Angeles - LP: C. Hatcher 3 FINAL
Milwaukee - WP: M. Blazek 4
Chicago Cubs - LP: P. Strop 9 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: M. Socolovich 10
Oakland - LP: J. Hahn 7 FINAL
Minnesota - WP: P. Hughes 8
Texas - WP: K. Kela 2 FINAL
Houston - LP: C. Qualls 1
Arizona 0 Postponed
Colorado 0
Seattle - WP: F. Hernandez 3 FINAL
LA Angels - LP: M. Shoemaker 2
San Diego - LP: T. Ross 0 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: M. Bumgarner 2
Chicago 99 FINAL
Cleveland 92
LA Clippers 117 FINAL
Houston 101
NY Rangers 0 FINAL
Washington 1
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