The Baseball Hall of Fame announcement came down and nobody got in this year, the first time that's happened since 1996.

As the Hall of Fame helpfully pointed out today, that year Phil Niekro, Tony Perez and Don Sutton were the top three vote-getters, and all three were elected over the next several years.

But of course the main story-line is that the mean, mean, evil 569-person BBWAA electorate only gave Barry Bonds 36.2%, Roger Clemens 37.6%, Curt Schilling (38.8%), Mike Piazza (57.8%), Jeff Bagwell (59.6%) and Craig Biggio (68.2%) ... all below the 75% threshold necessary for Cooperstown induction.

Jack Morris, in his 14th year of eligibility, got 67.7% of the vote and will need about 50 more "yes" votes next year (depending on the total vote-count, which varies year to year) to make it in his final year.

By the way, I voted for Bonds, Clemens, Biggio, Bagwell, Schilling, Dale Murphy, Jack Morris and Tim Raines. Yell at me if you must, but not about those guys.

I'm also surprised the votes for Bonds and Clemens, in particular, were so low. I figured something around the 50% mark for both, but it seems that a large chunk of the BBWAA electorate just decided that the steroid cloud was too much to overcome, at least this year.

I do think both Bonds and Clemens will eventually get to Cooperstown. Maybe not next year, maybe not in two years, but I think this particular year the voting became largely about a statement, not about the relative merits of most of the candidates.

AND THAT'S OK.

I knew the BBWAA electorate would get heat for this, and it is. Lots of lots of charges of hypocrisy and idiocy and corruption or whatever.

But it's 569 individual voters, with individual opinions, and individual thoughts about this complicated issue of PED-use and the Hall of Fame.

It's not a collective effort to be mean to great players, or if it is, I missed the meeting and I obviously have screwed up by voting for many of the suspected.

It's a vote. It's a controversial time. If you don't like it, I understand. But that's the way votes go.

Read Tim Kawakami's Talking Points blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/kawakami. Contact him at tkawakami@mercurynews.com. Follow him on Twitter.com: @TimKawakami.