• Cole Hamels hasn't been a member of the Chicago Cubs for long <a title="" href=""></a> , but he knows what to say to get their fans on his side.Hamels participated in his first game between the Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers at Milwaukee's Miller Park on Monday and was quick to notice how many Chicago fans always pack the stands during the games."When you have a majority Cubs fans in the stands, I don't know if that's a rivalry yet," he said, per Tony Andracki of NBC Sports Chicago. "I've been in rivalries. They're not gonna like me for the comment, but you can look at the ticket sales."Hamels wasn't wrong about the sheer number of Cubs fans in attendance Monday, either. When Anthony Rizzo hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the top of the eighth inning against relief pitcher JoshHader, it sounded like Wrigley Field with the amount of celebration happening in the crowd.The southpaw started the game that Milwaukee ultimately won 4-3 and allowed two runs and five hits in six innings of work. Chicago was in position to win, but the bullpen combination of Carl Edwards Jr. <a title="Kenley Jansen Jersey" href="">Kenley Jansen Jersey</a> , SteveCishekand Jesse Chavez was unable to preserve the lead in the final two frames.Cubs fans invading opposing teams' parks is nothing new, especially in the National League Central, but Milwaukee is particularly vulnerable since Chicago is typically less than a two-hour drive from the city. Chants of "Let's goCubbies" could be heard throughout the game, as they so often are when the Cubs are on the road as a popular and recently successful team with a national fanbase.Hamels is a veteran who has pitched for the Philadelphia Phillies and Texas Rangers and has a World Series MVP on his resume. He has been in the league since 2006 and pitched on the biggest stage the game has to offer, so his opinion on what constitutes a rivalry holds some weight.Chicago may have had plenty of fans in attendance, but Milwaukee still earned the win and moved within four games of the division lead. The Cubs hold a 9-5 advantage in 14 head-to-head games this year, but the Brewers have five contests remaining against the division leaders before the end of the season.If they take advantage of those games and come from behind to win the division, Hamels and the rest of the Cubs may finally recognize them as worthy rivals. COOPERSTOWN <a title="" href=""></a> , N.Y. (AP) — Late New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, former managers Lou Piniella, Davey Johnson and Charlie Manuel, and six players headed by Lee Smith are on the 10-man ballot for the baseball Hall of Fame’s Today’s Game Era committee to consider next month.Harold Baines, Albert Belle, Will Clark, Orel Hershiser and Joe Carter also are on the ballot for the 16-man committee, which meets Dec. 9 at the winter meetings in Las Vegas. The committee considers candidates from 1998 to the present <a title="Enrique Hernandez Jersey" href="">Enrique Hernandez Jersey</a> , and a candidate needs at least 75 percent of the vote to be elected.Any candidate picked will be inducted July 21 along with any players elected by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America in a vote announced Jan. 22. Mariano Rivera and the late Roy Halladay join a ballot with top returnees Edgar Martinez and Mike Mussina.When the Today’s Game Era committee last met two years ago, former baseball Commissioner Bud Selig and Atlanta Braves executive John Schuerholz were elected. Piniella received seven votes, while Baines, Belle, Clark, Hershiser, Johnson and Steinbrenner each received fewer than five. Mark McGwire also received fewer than five and was dropped from this year’s ballot.“I believe that committee and the people who have the power of votes, it would be hard pressed not to acknowledge this was a transformative figure in all of sports <a title="" href=""></a> , not just baseball,” Yankees general Brian Cashman said in defense of Steinbrenner at the general manager’s meetings in Carlsbad, California. “It’s very political at times … so there’s some powerful people that view it differently, I’m sure.”Smith’s highest voting percentage during 15 years on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballot was 50.6 percent in 2012. He received 34.2 percent in his 15th and final appearance in 2017.Baines never received more than 6.1 percent and was dropped after his fifth appearance in 2011 for falling under the 5 percent threshold. Hershiser and Belle were dropped after their second appearances in 2007, and Carter (2004) and Clark (2006) after their first.The Hall has four committees. Modern Baseball (1970-87) meets in December 2019 and Golden Days (1950-69) and Early Baseball (before 1950) in December 2020.The 16 voters this year will be announced later.

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