Tiant again falls short of Hall of Fame election


Tiant again falls short of Hall of Fame election

DALLAS -- Former Red Sox ace Luis Tiant fell far short of election to the Hall of Fame Monday when the Veterans Committe's voting was announced for the Class of 2012.

The committee, choosing from 10 candidates on the final ballot from the Golden Era (1947-1972), elected former Chicago Cubs third baseman Ron Santo.

"Very surprised. Very surprised," said Juan Marichal, a Hall of Fame pitcher and one-time teammate of Tiant. "All the 10 candidates deserve to be in. But the system, you only can vote for four, and Ron Santo got the majority of the votes, 90-plus percent. But maybe next year, I hope. Id like to see Luis in there. A great human being, and a great pitcher."

Santo, who was elected nearly a year to the day of his passing, received 15 of the 16 committee votes. Twelve or 75 percent were needed for election.

Santo hit .277 with 342 homers and 1,331 RBI over his 15 year career. He also won four Gold Gloves and becomes the 15th third baseman elected to Cooperstown.

Tiant, meanwhile, was among a group who received fewer than three votes. Jim Kaat, who won 280 games over his career, was next in voting with 10 votes. Minnie Minoso and Gil Hodges each had nine votes.

Tiant spent 8 of his 19 seasons with the Red Sox. In his career, he went 229172 with a 3.30 ERA, pitching 49 complete game shutouts. On the Red Sox all-time list, he is fifth in wins and strikeouts and fourth in innings pitched.

He went 219 with a 1.60 ERA in 1968 with the Indians and posted a 1.91 ERA while going 156 with the Red Sox in 1972.

"I love Luis," said Brooks Robinson, a Hall of Fame third baseman. "Hes a guy who Minoso, all those guys, they all had credentials to be in the Hall of Fame. Luis just to see his career, he pitched so great and then he had some arm problems and then he came back and won 20 games a couple of years in a row. Its just hard when you have to vote for four. Its just hard, somebodys going to get left out."

The committee for the Golden Era isn't scheduled to vote again for another three years.

Haggerty: Subban looking more like a 1st-round bust than NHL goalie

Haggerty: Subban looking more like a 1st-round bust than NHL goalie

BOSTON -- Malcolm Subban still believes he can be a No. 1 goaltender in the NHL.

While that sort of sheer, brazen self-confidence is admirable -- especially after getting yanked from a 5-0 loss to the Minnesota Wild at TD Garden Tuesday -- pretty much all the evidence points to the contrary. Given a shot because of injuries to Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobin, nearly two years after getting pulled from his only other NHL appearance when he gave up three goals on six shots in St. Louis, Subban was taken out Tuesday night after allowing three goals on eight second-period shots.

He maintained a defiantly confident tone afterwards, a testament to his maturity and mental toughness.

“It sucks," said Subban, who has now allowed six goals on 22 career shots faced in two starts. “Obviously, I’m just trying to finish the game, let alone win one . . . but what can you do now, right?

"Obviously I want to be a No. 1 goaltender in the league. I was a [first-round draft choice] for a reason. I have the potential, and I just have to show it. Obviously I haven’t done that so far yet, but I think I’m getting closer to it. Honestly, I think I can do it right now. I just got to show it . . . I didn’t [do it] today, but tomorrow’s a new day.”

Given the stunningly bad quality of his two NHL starts, combined with a thoroughly pedestrian body of work at the AHL level over the last three years, there is literally zero evidence Subban is tracking to be a franchise goaltender. Meanwhile, a sizeable selection of goaltenders taken after him in the 2012 NHL Draft have proven their worth and advanced to the elite level: Matt Murray. Frederik Anderson. Connor Hellebuyck. Joonas Korpisalo.

Subban was hoping all along to break through this season in Boston, but things went south on him quickly Tuesday in his first chance to do so.

Hampered by a Bruins team not playing well in front of him, the first goal he allowed was a fluttering Charlie Coyle shot that trickled between his glove hand and the top of his leg pad. The third was a softie low and to the glove side, a power-play strike authored by Ryan Suter. Instead of hanging in and giving his team a chance to win, Subban helped put the Bruins in a hole they couldn't escape.

While Claude Julien felt the poor performance "could be a combination" of goaltending and overall defensive lapses, he didn't let Subban off the hook.

“There are some goals -- I’m not going to lie -- there are some goals that we thought our goaltenders should have had," said the coach.

But he also wasn't going to place the blame solely at Subban's feet.

"[I’m] not here to talk about a goaltender -- who’s in one of his first few games -- because he let in a couple of bad goals,” said Julien. “We were terrible in front of him . . .  and that’s the big picture. That’s more important.

“I don’t care who’s in net. I think when you have some injuries you need to be better in those situations and we weren’t good enough tonight. It doesn’t matter if Tuukka is in net and we had injuries up front, or we’re lacking players here or there. You’ve got to let the system take care of the game. If you play it the right way, you have a chance to win. When you don’t, you don’t. That’s what happened [against Minnesota].”

There’s no question the defense in front of Subban wasn’t nearly good enough. Adam McQuaid and Torey Krug in particular struggled to lock things down in the defensive zone. The wide-open shots from the slot -- like the Chris Stewart score in the second period 12 seconds after Minnesota’s opening goal -- are indicative of a hockey club that’s not sticking to the game plan once things start to get a little wonky.

But this is about a player (Subban) who should be entering the NHL stage of his career after being a first-round pick in 2012. Anybody would be hard-pressed to see him as an NHL goalie after his two Bruins appearances. Combine that with the lack of dominance at the AHL level over the last three years, and there’s a better chance that Subban will be a major first-round bust rather than a late-blooming No. 1 goaltender.

The scary part is that Subban and fellow young netminder Zane McIntyre are all the Bruins have for Wednesday night’s game against the Rangers at Madison Square Garden, and perhaps longer if Rask can’t make a rapid recovery from his lower body injury.

Maybe Subban can be a bit better than he’s shown thus far, and, to be fair, the three goals allowed to Minnesota weren't all his fault. The bottom line, however, is that he should be up for doing this job right now. Tuesday was a big chance for the young goalie to make a statement that he was ready for it.

Instead he looked like the same goalie who'd been pulled from two of his first four AHL starts this season, one who's never going to truly be ready for the call in Boston.