December 2012 is creeping closer, which means the world will either end thanks to the Mayan prediction on Dec. 21 or the release of baseball's apocalyptic 2013 Hall of Fame ballot a few weeks earlier.
With the controversial slate of first-time eligibles that includes Barry Bonds, Rogers Clemens, Sammy Sosa and Mike Piazza, the smart money should almost certainly be on the latter.
Without question, there will be no shortage of posturing and preening from every camp imaginable between now and next January's announcement of the next crop of inductees (if the world doesn't implode on itself for whatever reason first). What's more, it looks like Bonds officially kicked off the politicking himself before Monday's D-backs and Giants game at San Francisco's AT&T Park.
While baseball's all-time home runs leader said he doesn't want to predict or analyze the outcome of that ballot, he's more than willing to editorialize on the possibility that he won't be taking a trip to rural New York in the summer of 2013.
"I have no idea (if I'll be a first-ballot Hall of Famer)," Bonds said. "That's up to the writers. I don't worry about that stuff. I'll be at home having a good time with my kids. Or hopefully here. Doing some stuff for other kids. That'll take care of itself. I don't need to worry about that stuff.
"You guys know me. I don't try to predict the future or analyze how other people are thinking or how it's going to turn out…it would be very sad if it didn't happen. That's why I don't need to comment on it. There's really no need."
What's interesting is that the main storyline out of Bonds' meet-'n-greet with Bay Area reporters isn't that it will be "very sad" if he doesn't make first ballot but that he's open to working with the Giants in some capacity again. There hasn't yet been a big backlash to that idea, so perhaps there's some hope that one of baseball's all-time best players — warts and all — won't be left on the outside looking in next summer.
Then again, it also seems like the national electorate hasn't even begun to sharpen its knives of self-righteousness for the battle that's almost surely ahead.
Appreciate the relative peace while you can.
Big BLS H/N: BBTF