|Will Barry Bonds be similarly pleased when the Hall of Fame vote is announced? Signs point to no. (Getty Images)|
Our own Danny Knobler has already written that Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens -- standard-bearers for the "steroids era" and its Cooperstown implications -- are going to have a hard time passing muster with Hall-of-Fame voters, at least for the time being. And now an AP straw poll of 112 BBWAA voters suggests Danny is spot-on. Money quote:
Among voters who expressed an opinion, Bonds received 45 percent support, Clemens 43 percent and (Sammy) Sosa 18 percent. To gain election, Bonds and Clemens would need more than 80 percent support among the voters not surveyed and Sosa would need to get more than 85 percent.
If those figures hold, Bonds and Clemens might be positioned to incrementally make up the necessary ground in years to come. However, Sosa, whose numbers-based case is less compelling than that of Bonds or Clemens, could be in too big of a hole ever to reach the necessary 75 percent. In recent history, Jim Rice and Bruce Sutter eventually won election despite first-year vote percentages in the low 20s, but Sosa's depths (and back-story) would be even more damning if these numbers are any guide.
For what it's worth, here's William C. Rhoden of The New York Times on a recent segment of CBS This Morning discussing this very issue ...
That's not quite the way I'd make the case, but I largely agree with Rhoden. The consensus, though, seems to disagree.
Needless to say, the debate has barely begun.
(HT: Hardball Talk)