NEW YORK (WFAN) — Leo Mazzone knows a thing or two about pitching.
The longtime Braves pitching coach mentored none other than starting pitchers Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, both of whom were elected to the Hall of Fame in their first years on the ballot on Wednesday.
Maddux was selected on 97.2 percent of the writers’ ballots and Glavine was selected on 91.9 percent.
A notable omission for the second year in a row? Mets legend Mike Piazza.
Piazza fell short of the 75 percent required, earning 62.2 percent. Mazzone, whose Braves teams faced the slugging catcher consistently throughout the late 1990s and early-mid 2000s, strongly believes that Piazza belongs in Cooperstown.
“I’d rather face (Jeff) Bagwell and (Craig) Biggio than Piazza,” Mazzone told WFAN co-hosts Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts on Thursday afternoon.
Biggio fell two votes shy of election, receiving 74.8 percent in his second year on the ballot. Bagwell fared worse than Piazza, receiving 54.3 percent in his fourth year on the ballot.
As for players linked to performance-enhancing drugs? Mazzone is of the opinion that they should be immortalized in the Hall of Fame.
“I think they should get in,” the 66-year-old told Joe & Evan “I think Barry Bonds is the greatest hitter I’ve ever seen. I think Roger Clemens is right there with the greatest pitchers of all time.”
Bonds and Clemens didn’t come close to being voted in on Wednesday. Bonds, in his second year on the ballot, was chosen on just 34.7 percent of the writers’ ballots. Clemens received just four more votes than Bonds did (35.4 percent). The seven-time Cy Young Award winner was also on the ballot for the second time.
“What I’m saying is, they’re the greatest baseball players of that era,” Mazzone told the radio duo. “Well, that era was tainted by (PEDs). They should be in, but there should be — if they’re gonna give Roger Maris an asterisk for his 61 home runs because they played 162 games instead of 154, let’s put an asterisk next to these guys (in the Hall of Fame) and explain why.”
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