Balls counts at least three drug losers in the Baseball Hall of Fame already. So word that Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens will make a quantum leap toward induction later this week comes as no surprise, really.
Even if Bonds and Clemens fall short of the necessary 75 percent approval rate, their time is soon to come. The Baseball Writers Association of America has weeded out a number of inactive old-timers from the process. While overdue in many cases, the move has resulted in more new-school voters and less old-time values. That greatly increases the chances that the polarizing power players will be allowed to contaminate the Hall of Fame, like they did the game itself. Both will have 10 more tries.
Let’s cut the less-experienced voters some slack here. As products of the entertainment age, many don’t know any better. They look at Bonds’ ridiculous 2001 season and wet their pants. “Dude, 73 home runs! So cool!” These people weren’t around when professional baseball deserved to be the national pastime decades ago. They don’t know true greatness. Will never know true greatness, because the steroids era is here to stay, boys and girls.
It’s the more experienced idiots, who have caved in, who should have their privileges revoked permanently. They’re the ones who have dreamed up convoluted excuses to allow the frauds in the door. You know, like, “Well, if Bud Selig is in the Hall of Fame, then everyone who played with him as commissioner should be eligible, too.”
No, that the master enabler has been given a Hall pass by his buddies is a golden opportunity to make the weasel stand alone as the symbol of the darkest period in baseball history.
Lest we forget, the evidence hasn’t changed over the years. Even the players themselves admit that, at the height of steroids period, approximately two out of three took banned substances that enhanced their performances. Bonds, Clemens and the rest were cheaters then, they’re cheaters now and they’ll be cheaters forever. And the non-cheaters are guilty for no other reason than the vast majority were willing accomplices to the greatest scandal ever in professional sports.
Not fair? Sorry, but nothing about the steroids era was fair.
Let Balls end by telling you this: I will never vote for anyone who played the brunt of his career in the steroids era, period. I don’t know how to say it any more clearly than that. Never.
Uh, got that, Rafael Palmeiro?
THE ENEMY WITHIN: Draymond Green still doesn’t get it.
Only months after Green probably cost the Warriors a second consecutive NBA title with a one-game suspension, the $82 million knucklehead was socked with his seventh technical foul on Christmas Day. That puts him on a pace for 17 in the regular season, one more than the rules allow before a one-game suspension. A player sits one game for every two Ts thereafter.
In other words, at his current rate, Green wouldn’t be in uniform if the postseason began today.
Anyone thinks that Green will tone down his childish act for the sake of the team doesn’t know him, obviously.
“Just continue to be me,” said Green, revealing his game plan to reporters earlier this week. “If I get the tech, so be it. Continue to be me.”
“Maybe [the referees] will figure it out one day,” he continued. “It’s not up to me.”
In that case, it’s up to coach Steve Kerr, his staff and even teammates to get in Green’s ear, something they’ve undoubtedly done behind closed doors more than once, not that it has done much good.
Don’t be surprised if LeBron James isn’t the only guy who beats the Warriors again this postseason.
BLUE CHRISTMAS: All Balls wanted on Christmas was one well-played, well-officiated NBA game.
What it got was four crummy games and another in which the wrong team won, as the league practically admitted one day later.
If James hadn’t been allowed to execute 42 chin-ups on the rim after a dunk, and if the Cavaliers hadn’t tripped Kevin Durant on the final possession, the Warriors probably wouldn’t have lost, 109-108. This in a league that has three referees at every game, mind you, not to mention instant replay.
If the NBA doesn’t take regular-season games seriously, then why should anyone else?
JUST SAYIN’: At his weekly news conference, Santa Clara coach Chip Kelly answered the first question with “I’m confused,” and he should have stepped away from the podium right then.
And now, a moment of silence for Colin Kaepernick, who will take his final knee at Levi’s Stadium this weekend. Or the Faithless can only hope …
Chairman Colin ranks 27th in yards per pass attempt, 28th in completion percentage, 30th in sack percentage and 30th in win percentage. But he gets better every week.
The loss of Raiders’ quarterback Derek Carr is a killer, but don’t count out backup Matt McGloin so fast. Super Bowl LI is out of the question, but a first-round victory in the Black Hole remains doable.
Latavius Murray, Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington, your 40-plus touches are ready.
When last seen, Hunter Pence was eating bugs on his honeymoon. Good to see the Giants’ looney tune in midseason form already.
THE LIST: Sure-miss picks against the spread for Week 17 of the NFL season …
Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings (-4 1/2)
New England Patriots (-9 1/2) at Miami Dolphins
Seattle Seahawks (-9 1/2) at Santa Clara
Last week: 0-3. Season: 17-28 (.378)
YOUR TURN: “The Giants gave us two late Christmas presents, signing Michael Morse to a minor league contract and inviting Justin Ruggiano to spring training. I’m keeping one (Morse) and returning the other. Happy holidays!” — Lou Tulipano, Santa Rosa
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