NEW YORK -- Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas were elected to baseballs Hall of Fame on Wednesday, while Craig Biggio fell two votes short and tainted stars of the Steroids Era remained a long way from Cooperstown. Maddux was picked on 555 of 571 ballots by senior members of the Baseball Writers Association of America. His 97.2 percentage was the eighth-highest in the history of voting. Glavine, Madduxs longtime teammate in the Atlanta rotation, appeared on 525 ballots and received 91.9 per cent. Thomas, the first Hall of Famer who spent the majority of his career as a designated hitter, was at 478 and 83.7 per cent. Thomas said he accepts the view of many Hall of Famers that players whose accomplishments are muddied by accusations of steroid use, such as Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, dont belong in the Hall. "Ive got to take the right stance, too. No, they shouldnt get in," he said. "There shouldnt be cheating allowed to get into the Hall of Fame." The trio will be inducted July 27 along with managers Bobby Cox, Joe Torre and Tony La Russa, elected last month by the expansion-era committee. Maddux and Glavine, who played under Cox for most of their careers, will become the first pair of 300-game winners to be inducted in the same year. "Its exciting for me to go in with my teammate," Maddux said. The only other time three players were elected together in their first appearances was in 1999 with Nolan Ryan, George Brett and Robin Yount. Biggio received 427 votes and 74.8 per cent, matching Nellie Fox in 1985 and Pie Traynor in 1947 for the smallest margin to just miss. Traynor made it the following year, and Fox was elected by the old Veterans Committee in 1997. Biggio, who spent his entire career with the Houston Astros, appeared on 388 ballots last year in his initial appearance -- when writers failed to elect anyone -- and appears to be on track to gain election next year. "Obviously, Im disappointed to come that close," he said in a statement. "I feel for my family, the organization and the fans. Hopefully, next year." Mike Piazza was next with 62.2 per cent, up from 57.8 last year. Jack Morris was 78 votes short at 61.5 per cent in his 15th and final appearance on the writers ballot, a drop from 67.7 per cent. Morris replaces Gil Hodges (63 per cent in 1983) as the player with the highest-percentage of the vote not in the Hall. Jeff Bagwell dropped to 54.3 per cent from 59.6, and Tim Raines to 46.1 from 52.2. Controversy over how to evaluate stars tainted by the Steroids Era continued to impact the vote totals of players with stellar statistics. In their second appearances on the ballot, Roger Clemens dropped from 37.6 per cent to 35.4, Barry Bonds from 36.2 to 34.7 and Sammy Sosa from 12.5 to 7.2. Bonds, baseballs career home run leader, is the only seven-time MVP in major league history. Clemens is the lone seven-time Cy Young Award winner. "As for what they did, I dont think any of us will ever really know," Thomas said. "But I can just tell you, what I did was real and thats why Ive got this smile on my face right now because the writers, they definitely got it right." Mark McGwire, appearing for the eighth time, fell from 16.9 to 11 per cent -- down from a peak of 25.6 in 2008. Rafael Palmeiro will be dropped from future ballots after falling to 25 votes and 4.4 per cent -- below the 5 per cent threshold necessary to remain eligible. One voter submitted a blank ballot. "I can go home and sleep at night and rest," Thomas said, "so I dont have to worry about all the nonsense that the other people are going through, because I know I wont be getting a call in the middle of the night from someone saying, oh, he did this or he did that." Deadspin.com announced Miami Herald columnist Dan Le Batard had turned his ballot over to the website, which allowed readers to vote on how it should be cast. "I hate all the moralizing we do in sports in general, but I especially hate the hypocrisy in this," Le Batard said in remarks posted by Deadspin. "I always like a little anarchy inside the cathedral weve made of sports." BBWAA Secretary-Treasurer Jack OConnell declined comment. Maddux reached the major leagues in 1986 and Glavine a year later. They become the first primarily starting pitchers to enter the Hall whose careers began after Bert Blyleven, who debuted in 1970. And they are the first teammates on a starting rotation to be elected together since 1946. Add in Cox, and the induction will be dominated by Braves. "Its fitting, given the influence those two guys had on my career," Glavine said. "The thing that would have disappointed me the most had it not happened would have been a lost opportunity to go in with Bobby and Greg." Eighth on the wins list with a 355-227 record and a 3.16 ERA over 23 seasons, Maddux won four consecutive Cy Young Awards from 1992-95 and a record 18 Gold Gloves with the Chicago Cubs, Atlanta, the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego. An eight-time All-Star, he won at least 13 games in 20 straight seasons. Glavine, a 10-time All-Star and a two-time Cy Young winner, was 305-203 over 22 seasons. A two-time AL MVP, Thomas hit .301 with 521 homers and 1,704 RBIs in 19 seasons with the Chicago White Sox, Toronto and Oakland. Thomas becomes the sixth ex-Blue Jay to enter the Hall of Fame, following Phil Niekro, Dave Winfield, Paul Molitor, Rickey Henderson and Roberto Alomar. Of those players, only Alomar entered the Hall as a Jay. Writers who have been members of the BBWAA for 10 consecutive years at any point were eligible to consider the 36-player ballot. Next years vote will be even more crowded when Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz, Carlos Delgado and Gary Sheffield become eligible, five years after their retirements. The BBWAA last month formed a committee to study whether the organization should ask the Hall to change the limit of 10 players per ballot. In a sign of how some newly eligible players have taken votes from holdovers, Lee Smith dropped to 171 from 272 last year, his percentage falling to 29.9 from 47.8. Custom San Francisco 49ers Jerseys . Lynchs attorney, Ivan Golde, told The Associated Press on Thursday of the plea deal that was reached with the Alameda County District Attorney Office. The plea will be formally entered in court in Oakland, Calif. Fake Custom Jerseys Online . 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In the calls, Hernandez discussed the murder of Odin Lloyd, including his "belief about his criminal liability" and the "extent of his control over persons charged as accessories," according to the request filed Thursday in Fall River Superior Court.DUNEDIN, Florida - Melky Cabrera envisioned the worst-case scenario when he was diagnosed with having a benign tumour in his back. "I thought he was going to pass away, I was going to die, I was going to leave his kids behind and his family," said Cabrera through third base coach Luis Rivera, translating Spanish to English. "I know one day hes going to die but I wasnt ready to do that yet." It was a harsh dose of reality for Cabrera not long after turning 29 last August 11. It was a strange time. Finally, Cabrera had a proper diagnosis for the knee tendinitis and quadriceps inflammation that had sent him to the disabled list earlier in the season. But to that point, Cabrera couldnt understand why hed been rendered relatively immobile on the field. The tumour, which if left untreated would have continued to grow and could have ended up wrapping itself around Cabreras spinal cord causing paralysis, even death, was about the size of a walnut at the time it was surgically removed. The scar on Cabreras back is about five inches long and runs straight down the spinal column. "I was worried because of the way I was playing and the pain I was feeling in my legs and his back," Cabrera said through Rivera. "I didnt know what was wrong with me until I they decided to check. I found out, my family and myself, it was a tumour. They didnt know if it was benign or cancer and we were real worried." Once the stiches came out ten days after the surgery, Cabrera immediately began working out. He started slowly, capped at curls with 15 and 20-pound dumbbells. By December, Cabrera had moved his offseason home to Tampa. Teammate Jose Bautista lives in the area and the two began two-a-day workouts immediately, including cardio and weight training in the mornings and baseball related activities, namely hitting, in the afternoon. Cabrera is plenty motivated to have a bounce back season. Limited to 88 games last year, he posted a .279/.322/.360 slash line. He was coming off a 50-game suspension in 2012 for performance enhancing drug use. Now in the final year of the $16 million, two-year contract, Cabrera is playing for his next deal while trying to shake a shady past. In solid physical shape and moving better than he has in more than a year, Cabrera is reunited with his hitting coach from three seasons ago in Kansas City, Kevin Seitzer. "Im real happy that hes here," said Cabrera through Rivera. "Hes a real good hitting coach. He knows what kind of swing I have and he can work with me better." NAVARRO CATCHES BUEHRLE Asked before Fridays game if he could remember catching a pitcher who works as quickly as Mark Buehrle, Dioner Navarro didnt waste any time responding. "Nobody," he said. Navarro wouldnt offer a prediction of how things would go, which necessitated a follow up when he left the game after six innings. "On the positive side I dont have to do conditioning now," joked Navarro. "It was fun. I think hes still trying to build in as spring training goes along. I dont think he was throwing as hard as he can.dddddddddddd His mechanics looked fine. The ball was coming out fine. He likes to work fast, thats for sure." Buehrle threw two innings, allowing a run on two hits. He struck out one and walked one. "First thing I told him when we met, I said, Listen, I dont shake off, so I like the sign down and hope youve got a game plan back there, because I dont really go over one, I dont follow one, so I just kind of go off [the catchers signs]," said Buehrle. "Thats big for them to know the hitters and know what I like to throw in certain situations. So far, were just working on some stuff right now and getting his feedback on certain pitches that Im throwing, so its good." Buehrle sat in on a handful of advanced scouting meetings two years ago in Miami, at the request of then-Marlins pitching coach Randy St. Claire, but felt he wasnt benefitting from the information. Hed prefer if Navarro and pitching coach Pete Walker worked out the plan. Hell just throw the pitches, joking that if things go wrong it leaves the blame on the catcher. "We take the blame," said Navarro. "Hey, its been like that for 100 years. When somebody does good, good job. When something goes bad its the catchers fault. Ive got no shame on that. I take the blame. Its okay with me." IZTURIS ACCEPTING OF BACK UP ROLE As long as the regulars stay healthy, Maicer Izturis will find himself back in the role he had with the Angels. Hell play some second base, some shortstop and some third base and be a late-game option off the bench for manager John Gibbons. "Ive been in that situation before in Anaheim with Aybar and Howie Kendrick," said Izturis. "For me, Im coming in ready to help the team win. I just want to make the playoffs and win that thing. I think weve got everything here. We need to just compete." A 10-year veteran, Izturis also is serving as a mentor to Ryan Goins, who ended last season as the Jays second baseman and is expected to have the starting job when camp breaks. "Just be consistent, play good defense," said Izturis of his advice to Goins. "Hes got the same game that I do. Just play defense, move the runner, take some pitches, play for the team. Weve got a lot of players with power and speed. Thats what I try to tell him to help him understand his game." Izturis is fully healed following a season-ending ankle sprain late last August. He began running the bases and taking ground balls in November. LINDS BEARD GETTING ATTENTION Adam Linds goatee is being compared to the beard worn by former professional wrestler Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart. Shown a photo of Neidhart, Lind laughed and said, "Hes got a better tan." KRATZ DOES COMMERCIALS Check out these three commercials featuring new Blue Jays catcher Erik Kratz, done last year in Philadelphia for Godshalls Quality Meats. Some funny stuff. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGOjaXfwdfg http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bltl70SVyuU http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8oQi1uuq2xI ' ' '