Never mind the appeal, Bonds; You're not getting in

storapse@aol.comDecember 21, 2011 

So, after eight years of being investigated for steroids use, Barry Bonds, the would-be home run king, was sentenced last Friday to 30 days of home confinement.

More than $50 million of taxpayer money was spent on the case and Bonds was found guilty of one count of obstruction of justice. Somehow he escaped the perjury charges that would have sent him to prison.

Instead, he has to stay in his $10 million, six-bedroom home in Beverly Hills for a month.

And get this: he is probably going to appeal the conviction.

Bonds has a compelling reason to appeal. He thinks it will increase his chances of being voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame when he becomes eligible in 2013.

I got news for Mr. Bonds. The Baseball Writers of America, whose ballots decide who makes it to Cooperstown, will vote a resounding 'no' -- as they have already done the past six years with Bonds' steroids pal Mark McGwire.

The sign on the HOF door is emphatic: No Users of Performance Enhancing Drugs Allowed In.

With 762 homers, Bonds may still be listed as the career home run king in Bud Selig's world, but in my book, Hank Aaron's 755 is tops. And my sense is that most baseball writers will refuse to vote for Bonds, Roger Clemens or any other tainted player. No matter what verdicts are handed down in court.

It is interesting that this year's Hall of Fame ballot has one of the weakest crops of first timers ever. Bernie Williams, who played for the New York Yankees in the late 1990s and early 2000s, is probably the top candidate. But he is given little chance to get enough votes.

Two holdovers who have the best chance are shortstop Barry Larkin and pitcher Jack Morris. It takes 75 percent of the vote to make it. Larkin got 62 percent last year and Morris 53.

Beginning next year, a wave of players with outstanding records will join the ballot along with Bonds and Clemens. The list includes Craig Biggio (3,000 hits), and catching great Mike Piazza in 2013; Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas in 2014.

The best news regarding this year's Hall of Fame induction ceremony on July 22 is that beloved Chicago Cubs third baseman Ron Santo will be honored posthumously.

Santo, after failing to be elected during his 15 years on the Baseball Writers ballot, was selected on a 94 percent vote by the Golden Era committee two weeks ago.

The shame is that the honor didn't come until a year after he died at age 70.

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