Nobody was happier about the Hall of Fame shutout than many of the Hall of Famers themselves. Dennis Eckersley, Goose Gossage, Al Kaline, and others are in no rush to open the door to Cooperstown for anyone linked to steroids, such as Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa. ‘‘Wow! Baseball writers make a statement,’’ wrote former Red Sox pitcher Eckersley on Twitter Thursday. ‘‘Feels right.’’ Former Yankees reliever Gossage was even more adamant. ‘‘If they let these guys in ever — at any point — it’s a big black eye for the Hall and for baseball,’’ he said. ‘‘It’s like telling our kids you can cheat, you can do whatever you want, and it’s not going to matter.’’ And former Tigers great Kaline said: ‘‘I'm kind of glad that nobody got in this year. I feel honored to be in the Hall of Fame. And I would've felt a little uneasy sitting up there on the stage, listening to some of these new guys talk about how great they were.’’ . . . Free agent lefthander Francisco Liriano injured his right arm over the holidays and his deal with the Pirates is on hold. Liriano reached an agreement on a two-year deal worth around $14 million late last month, pending a physical . . . Diamondbacks outfielder Justin Upton has vetoed a trade to the Mariners, a person with knowledge of the situation said. Upton’s contract gave him the power to turn down the trade . . . Infielder Luis Valbuena agreed to a $930,000, one-year contract with the Cubs.
Grinnell record-setter breaks wrist
Grinnell guard Jack Taylor, who set the NCAA scoring record with 138 points in a game in November, is out for the season after breaking his wrist. Taylor fractured the radius on his shooting arm during a 119-117 win over rival Cornell (Iowa). He will likely have surgery within a week and be out 2-3 months, costing the sensational sophomore the rest of the season. He was averaging 36.3 points per game for the Division 3 Pioneers (9-3) . . . Lehigh guard and preseason All-American C.J. McCollum may not return this season from a left foot injury if it means risking a potentially lucrative future in the NBA . . . LSU’s list of underclassmen entering the NFL draft reached 11 when offensive tackle Chris Faulk decided to forgo his senior season. Other players making the same decision Thursday were Georgia nose tackle Kwame Geathers, Oklahoma State running back Joseph Randle, and Texas wide receiver Mike Davis . . . Bill Young will step down after four seasons as Oklahoma State’s defensive coordinator and be replaced by linebackers coach Glenn Spencer.
Langley (62) surges to lead in Hawaii
Rookie Scott Langley shot an 8-under-par 62 in his PGA Tour debut to take a one-shot lead over Russell Henley after the first round of the Sony Open in Honolulu. Langley, a former NCAA champion from Illinois, played bogey-free and made a couple of long putts — including a 55-footer for eagle on No. 9. Scott Piercy and Tim Clark were at 66 . . . Thongchai Jaidee shot a 7-under 65 to take a three-stroke lead on the opening day of the Volvo Champions in Durban, South Africa. Jaidee birdied six of his first 10 holes to end the day three shots ahead of Ernie Els and Louis Oosthuizen. Retief Goosen, who lost in a playoff a year ago, shot a par 72.
Azarenka, Serena in same Open draw
Defending champion Victoria Azarenka and 2012 Wimbledon and US Open champ Serena Williams are in the same half of the draw at the Australian Open, meaning they could meet in the semifinals. Novak Djokovic’s bid for a third consecutive Australian men’s title got a boost when No. 2-ranked Roger Federer and US Open champion Andy Murray both landed in the other half . . . The NHL Players’ Association began voting Thursday night on ratification of the new CBA that would end the four-month lockout. Electronic voting will continue through Saturday morning . . . Blue Jackets defenseman Ryan Murray, the second overall pick in the draft last summer, underwent surgery on his left shoulder and faces a six-month recovery . . . Former No. 1 overall NBA draft pick Greg Oden, who has suffered debilitating knee injuries during his career, said he intends to return to the court, and several NBA teams have already expressed interest, according to a report on ESPN . . . Former world boxing champ Vinny Paz, 50, was charged with two misdemeanors Wednesday after smashing a pair of bar stools and refusing to pay his tab at the Grid Iron Ale House & Grill in Warwick, R.I., according to a report in the Providence Journal.