Bonds (and Everyone) Strikes Out


In the most resounding referendum yet on the legacy of steroids in baseball, voters for the Hall of Fame emphatically rejected the candidacies of Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens in balloting results announced on Wednesday. In their first year on the ballot, Bonds and Clemens, perhaps the most decorated hitter and pitcher in the game’s history, fell far short of receiving the necessary 75 percent of votes from baseball writers. Bonds, the career home runs leader, received only 36.2 percent, while Clemens, who won a record seven Cy Young Awards, did slightly better, with 37.6. It was the first election since 1996 in which the writers chose no new members. “It takes time for history to sort itself out,” said Jeff Idelson, the Hall of Fame’s president. “I’m not surprised we had a shutout today. I wish we had an electee, but I’m not surprised given how volatile this era has been.” For a sport whose links to performance-enhancing drugs have forced it to endure Congressional hearings, public apologies from players, tell-all books and federal trials, Wednesday offered a profound moment. Writers decreed that two of baseball’s greatest players would not be officially recognized with the game’s highest honor, at least for now and perhaps forever. The Hall of Fame will still have its annual induction ceremony in Cooperstown, N.Y., this summer. But the three who will be honored — the umpire Hank O’Day, the owner Jacob Ruppert and a catcher, Deacon White — all died in the 1930s and were voted in by the veterans’ committee in December rather than through the more prestigious route of being selected by the members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. (The New York Times does not permit its reporters to vote for awards.) As a result, it will be the first time since 1960 that the induction ceremony will include no new, living honorees, underscoring the lingering damage that the issue of drugs is inflicting on the sport. Clemens, in a message posted to his Twitter account, said that “after what has been written and said over the last few years I’m not overly surprised.” Bonds did not immediately comment, but lamented in an interview with in November that “it’s tough when you have so many people out there who don’t want to turn the page and want to be angry at you forever.” Every player on the 2013 ballot was active in the years before steroid testing, which began, with penalties, in 2004. Some have escaped suspicion, like the top two finishers in this election. Craig Biggio of the Houston Astros, who amassed 3,060 hits, made his debut on the ballot at 68.2 percent, followed by the former pitcher Jack Morris, who got 67.7 percent in his 14th year as a candidate. CONTINUE READING

Huge turnout for Giants Parade Up Market Street in S.F.

ImageWith adoring roars from the crowd and beaming grins from the players, the Giants World Series victory parade strutted up Market Street on Wednesday, ending up in front of City Hall, where the team was handed the key to the city – and the hearts of its fans. Parents, college kids, toddlers, office workers and admirers of all stripes bundled up to avoid the chill, blew horns, clapped, high-fived and screamed themselves hoarse as the ballplayers and marchers passed by. You could hear the din of the estimated 1 million-plus people almost all the way to Detroit. The coinciding of Halloween with the parade day produced an ocean of holiday getups, with Giants regalia slung over the usual witch and ghoul costumes. Even fashionistas might have winked at the mash-ups, given that the Giants team colors are appropriately spooky orange and black. “It’s awesome!” 9-year-old Jenna Wieking yelled as her father hoisted her to his shoulders for her first look at such a huge parade. “There are so many fans so close! So many people!” Like thousands of others, her family made a long drive in – she’s from Davis – to give the team a big hurrah for beating the Detroit Tigers on Sunday to snatch baseball’s biggest crown.

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Giants victory parade set for Halloween

Find those beards and panda hats, giraffe heads and Lincecum wigs. And get ready for what could be one of the biggest, craziest parties in the city that knows how to party. The Giants‘ victory parade will begin at the foot of Market Street at 11 a.m. Wednesday. The parade ends at Civic Center. Yes, on Halloween. The city that revels in Bay to Breakers, Halloween in the Castro, and any chance to dress up (or down) and party, will throw an orange-and-black celebration to rival all others. Giants executives were too superstitious to have announced anything about a World Series victory parade before clinching the title. But, with a three-games-to-none lead heading into Sunday’s Game 4, the situation demanded that practical concerns take precedence over fears of jinxing the team. The Giants had no choice but to begin some quiet planning. Read more: