Bonds, Clemens, Sosa on Hall ballot for first time

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They’ll do better with Bob Dutton of The Kansas City Star.

“I plan to vote for all three. I understand the steroid/PED questions surrounding each one, and I’ve wrestled with the implications,” he wrote in an email.

“My view is these guys played and posted Hall of Fame-type numbers against the competition of their time. That will be my sole yardstick. If Major League Baseball took no action against a player during his career for alleged or suspected steroid/PED use, I’m not going to do so in assessing their career for the Hall of Fame,” he said.

San Jose Mercury News columnist Mark Purdy will reserve judgment.

“At the beginning of all this, I made up my mind I had to adopt a consistent policy on the steroid social club. So, my policy has been, with the brilliance in the way they set up the Hall of Fame vote where these guys have a 15-year window, I’m not going to vote for any of those guys until I get the best picture possible of what was happening then,” he wrote in an email.

“We learn a little bit more each year. We learned a lot during the Bonds trial. We learned a lot during the Clemens trial. I don’t want to say I’m never going to vote for any of them. I want to wait until the end of their eligibility window and have my best idea of what was really going on,” he said.

Clemens was acquitted this summer in federal court on six counts that he lied and obstructed Congress when he denied using performance-enhancing drugs.

Bonds was found guilty in 2011 by a federal court jury on one count of obstruction of justice, ruling he gave an evasive answer in 2003 to a grand jury looking into the distribution of illegal steroids. Bonds is appealing the verdict.

McGwire is 10th on the career home run list with 583, but has never received even 24 percent in his six Hall tries. Big Mac has admitted to using steroids and human growth hormone.

Palmeiro is among only four players with 500 homers and 3,000 hits, yet has gotten a high of just 12.6 percent in his two years on the ballot. He drew a 10-day suspension in 2005 after a positive test for PEDs, and said the result was due to a vitamin vial given to him by teammate Miguel Tejada.

Biggio topped the 3,000-hit mark _ which always has been considered an automatic credential for Cooperstown _ and spent his entire career with the Houston Astros.

“Hopefully, the writers feel strongly that they liked what they saw, and we’ll see what happens,” Biggio said last week.

Schilling was 216-146 and won three World Series championships, including his “bloody sock” performance for the Boston Red Sox in 2004.

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AP Baseball Writer Janie McCauley and AP Sports Writers Arnie Stapleton and Dave Skretta contributed to this report.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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