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Jack McCaffery is the lead sports columnist for the Daily Times and He has spent several decades covering everything from the Phillies, Eagles, Flyers and Sixers, to college hoops, to high school sports in Delco.

Saturday, December 6, 2014


CHESTER >> Jarret Hurd won a six-round majority decision over middleweight Emmanuel Sanchez Friday in the main boxing event at Harrah's in Chester.

Hurd, of Accokeek, Md., improved to 14-0. Sanchez is 5-2.

Heralded Milton Santiago, 18, of Philadelphia needed all four rounds to win unanimously over tough Pottstown lightweight Travis Thompson. Santiago is 8-0, Thompson 7-12-3.

Also, junior lightweight Omar Douglass of Wilmington improved to 13-0 with a first-round knockout of Osnel Charles (10-12-1) of Atlantic City. Earl Newman of Brooklyn scored a first-round TKO over Jade Ealy (1-2) of Georgia to go to 3-1.

Stephen Fulton of Philly improved to 3-0 with a unanimous featherweight decision over game 2-10-1 Benjamin Burgos of Mt. Pocono. And Caleb Plant of Ashland City, Tenn., knocked out Daryl Gardner (2-5) of Spokane, Wash., to improve to 5-0.

Thursday, December 4, 2014


Undefeated rising lightweight star Milton Santiago will fight a four-round semi-windup against Travis Thompson Friday at Harrah's in Chester.
Santiago, of Philadelphia, is 7-0 with three knockouts. Thompson, of Pottstown, is 7-11-3 with three knockouts.
In the main event, cruiserweight Jarret Hurd (13-0, eight KOs) will oppose 5-1 Emanuel Sanchez of Laredo, Texas.
The scheduled six-bout professional boxing card features five undefeated fighters, all having had successful amateur careers, including 12-0 junior lightweight Omar Douglass of Wilmington, 4-0 middleweight Caleb Plant of Ashland City, Tenn., and 2-0 Philadelphia featherweight Stephen Fulton.
Several are affiliated with the Floyd Mayweather camp, according to the promoters.

First bell is at 7:30. Tickets, available at the door, are priced at $45 and $75.


December 5th. 2014
Red                                                                                                                              Blue
Jarret Hurd                                      vs.                                 Emanuel Sanchez
Accokeek, Maryland                          MIDDLEWEIGHT’s                       Laredo, TX
13-0 (8 KO’s)                                                    6rds                                            5-1 (1 KO’s)
Omar Douglass                                             vs.                                     Osnel Charles
Wilmington, DE                             Jr. LIGHTWEIGHT’s                     Atlantic City, NJ
 12-0 (9 KO’s)                                                    6rds                                        10-11-1 (1 KO)
Milton Santiago                                            vs.                                    Travis Thompson
Philadelphia, PA                               LIGHTWEIGHT’s                       Pottstown, PA
7-0 (3 KO’s)                                                      4rds                                        7-11-3 (3 KO’s)
Caleb Plant                                                     vs.                                       Daryl Gardner  
Ashland City, Tennessee                MIDDLEWEIGHT’s                        Spokane, Washington
4-0 (3 KO’s)                                                       4rds                                          2-4 (2 KO’s)
Stephen Fulton                                             vs                            Benjamin Burgos
Philadelphia, PA                             FEATHERWEIGHT’s                     Mount Pocono, PA
 2-0 (1 KO)                                                         4rds                                            2-9-1
Earl Newman                                                 vs                                   Jade Ealy
Brooklyn, New York                        CRUISERWEIGHT’s                         Georgia, USA
 2-1 (2 KO)                                                         4rds                                             1-1 (1 KO)


Wednesday, December 3, 2014


The most revealing ballot in the modern history of the Baseball Hall of Fame has arrived. Finally, those who have earned the honor of a vote will be able to make one fundamental revelation.
Do they punish a player for trying to win?
Or do they choose to punish a player for being OK with losing?
That’s all. That’s what the ballot that includes the usual steroid-era candidates and also one Gary Sheffield is about. It’s about that choice.
Already, the electorate has spoken about the steroid users. Barry Bonds has yet to be elected. He is the all-time leader in a particularly significant baseball statistical category. He belongs in the Hall of Fame. He should have been in on the first try. He could open his own Hall of Fame directly across the street from 25 Main Street in Cooperstown and it would be more legitimate. But it feels good to enough voters to penalize Bonds and Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire and Mike Piazza and anyone else thought to have used designer sports vitamins to become better players.
That’s the system. OK.
But into the ring now fly hats from the Brewers, Padres, Marlins, Dodgers, Braves, Yankees, Tigers and Mets --- those ball caps disgraced during what should have been the a tainted, rotten career of Sheffield. His 509 home runs, nine All-Star Games, one batting title and .292 career batting average normally would make him a serious contender. It’s just that while baseball was obsessed over imposing a lifetime ban on Pete Rose for trying to win, it pardoned Sheffield for the one misdeed that should have any athlete at any level banished from a sport. He threatened to fail.
This is what Sheffield once told the Los Angeles Times: “The Brewers brought out the hate in me. I was a crazy man. I hated everything about the place. If the official scorer gave me an error, I didn't think was an error, I’d say, 'OK, here’s a real error,' and I'd throw the next ball into the stands on purpose.”
That is the loser who is on the Hall of Fame ballot --- the one who would purposely “throw the next ball into the stands,” the one the Brewers once dumped into the minors for “indifferent fielding.” And what greater sin could there be against a sport and the customers who pay to watch it than to have a rat like that announcing that he would deliberately fail to perform? Yet that was fine with enough teams that Sheffield could earn more than $168,000,000 to play.
That he was loosely brought into the steroid coverage will not boost Sheffield's campaign. But it will be fascinating to see how many votes he receives from those rejecting players who tried only to strengthen their bodies in an effort to succeed. Sheffield may or may not have used performance-enhancers. That should not matter. But threatening to error is unforgivable. Once he did that, the perception had to be that he was intentionally failing every time he wandered near a ball in play. And, hey, isn’t that the leading argument against Rose, who only bet on his team to win games while a manager --- that it wasn’t necessarily the crime but the perception that most matters?
Those who tried to become stronger, better players should not be denied Hall access. Those who tried to manipulate the equipment in order to gain an edge, including the corked-bat-wielding Sammy Sosa, must be rejected. Those found to have used mind-altering drugs should be considered, but very carefully. And those who once threatened to fail, even if they would later claim to have been misunderstood, must be exposed until they vanish from the ballot.
The election is thick with worthy candidates this year. At least 17 could be Hall of Fame players. But a voter can only check 10 boxes. This, then, is my ballot for the 2015 induction class, in alphabetical order: Craig Biggio, Bonds, Clemens, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, McGwire, Piazza, John Smoltz and Alan Trammell.

And I scratched out Sheffield's name and wrote in Rose's in that precise spot. Because determined winners, not indifferent losers, belong in the Hall of Fame.