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DECK THE HALLS … OF INFAMY

Barry Bonds

Dallas Morning News sports columnist Rick Gosselin published his Hall of Fame voting this week. He voted for Jack Morris, Greg Maddux, Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, Alan Trammell, and Tom Glavine. And, he voted for Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens.

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BRAUN IS PRODUCT OF MLB’S FAILURE

Ryan Braun

Ryan Braun is uncomfortable talking about how he deceived, conspired, concealed, evaded and lied to the Milwaukee Brewers ownership, his teammates, fans and the baseball world. But that’s a short list of “I’m sorry’s” compared to the 133 million reasons he has to press on. Braun is under contract with the Brewers through 2020 during which time he will earn — are you sitting down? — $133 million.

When he finally stepped in front of cameras this past week, some four months after being suspended by Major League Baseball for using performance-enhancing drugs, and expressed contrition, don’t believe it.  He really doesn’t care what you, or I, think.

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DEALING DICKEY

R.A. Dickey

The last time I spoke to R.A. Dickey it was 2010. It was a late spring morning in Port St. Lucie and he was sitting, legs crossed, on a wooden stool, Mets pinstripe pants, three-quarter sleeved t-shirt, stirrups, no shoes, quietly gnawing on a hot dog and eating baked beans off a paper plate in front of his temporary “space” in the New York Mets locker room. From a distance, Dickey appeared lost and alone amongst the anxious rookies and loud overconfident veterans. In hindsight, he probably was — at that moment in time.

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CHARACTER TRUMPS PERFORMANCE IN HALL VOTING

Roger Clemens

Will Roger Clemens get inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame at Cooperstown? That is the reverberating question following Monday’s not guilty verdict in Clemens’s perjury case.

The Baseball Hall of Fame ballot states: Voting shall be based upon the player’s record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.

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HE WILL FOREVER BE MANNY RAMIREZ *

Manny Ramirez

Long after Manny Ramirez retires the cheers and jeers will stop. He will no longer have the luxury of choking off critics with a single swing of his Louisville Slugger. All that will be left is the man, his character, the numbers on a piece of paper — and a screaming asterisk.

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IBANEZ SHOULD BE ANGRY WITH USERS, NOT DOUBTERS

Raul Ibanez

No player in Phillies history — which dates back to 1890 (and includes a two-year blip in 1943-1944 when they were the Philadelphia Blue Jays) — has reached the 20 home run plateau faster than Raul Ibanez. Not Mike Schmidt. Not Ryan Howard. Not Richie Allen, Greg Luzinski, Chuck Klein, Jim Thome, Del Ennis or Johnny Callison.

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