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January 10, 2013

Writers shut out tainted baseball stars

(Continued)

Former Sidney resident Joel Bennett played briefly in the big leagues in the late-1990s. Bennett pitched for the Baltimore Orioles in 1998 and the Philadelphia Phillies in 1999.

“It doesn’t surprise me,” Bennett said of the results of the BBWAA vote. “They’re always going to be tarnished even though they’re amazing athletes.”

Bennett, who’ll begin his first season as Windsor’s varsity baseball coach this spring, said he was “totally oblivious” to performance-enhancing drugs during his time in the big leagues. He said he witnessed teammates mixing together concoctions in blenders and lifting frequently, but Bennett said he never suspected steroid use at the time.

“It sends a message for sure,” Bennett said of the vote. “(The game is) tarnished, but at the time it was happening, no one was talking about it.”

Though no one alive earned enshrinement this year, Idelson said the 2014 class has the potential to be mammoth.

Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, both 300-game winners, two-time MVP Frank Thomas, Jeff Kent and Mike Mussina will be on the ballot for the first time. Biggio, Bagwell, Morris and Piazza figure to have good chances, and managers Joe Torre, Tony La Russa and Bobby Cox are likely to appear on the veterans committee ballot.

“It could be a monster year to coincide with our 75th year,” Idelson said.

Rob Centorani can be reached at rcentorani@thedailystar.com or 607-432-1000, ext. 209.

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