The Ballot -- the one bearing the names of Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens as Hall of Fame candidates -- was unveiled Wednesday. Finally. This is the referendum we've waited for, the vote that some have said will provide judgment of the sport's steroid era.
Let me save you the trouble: It won't.
For one thing, there is fresh evidence that baseball's struggle with performance-enhancing drugs is far from over: Carlos Ruiz, the respected Philadelphia Phillies catcher, was hit with a 25-game suspension Tuesday after testing positive for an amphetamine. The Steroid Era is a moving, amorphous target, slipperier than an All-America kick returner in a monsoon.
But the ballots are out just the same, and members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America will mark them according to their conscience over the coming days. In the absence of Nate Silver certified projections, we are left to use past voting results as a guide.
Like Bonds and Clemens, Mark McGwire was linked to steroid use. ...