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For the first time, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens are expected to be named on more than 50 percent of the baseball writers’ Hall of Fame ballots when the results are announced Jan.18.

They almost surely will fall short of the 75 percent needed to elected, but the opposition to their election seems be crumbling among the writers.

This is the fifth year on the ballot for both. They will be on the ballot for 10 years.

It used to be 15. It was changed in 2014. At the time many seemed puzzled by the change.

I believe it was a change, pushed by Hall of Fame players, to keep Bonds and Clemens out of the Hall. The former players knew the media would soften their stance on PEDs.

After players are off the writers’ ballot, players can be voted in through the veterans’ committee, made up of living Hall of Famers. Bonds and Clemens have no shot there. Not in their lifetimes.

Those old guys like Frank Robinson have no use for the inflated stats of the steroid era.  Sure, those guys will die out. But the younger inductees will likely be anti-steroid. Today’s players want better testing on PEDs.

There won’t be enough players from the steroids era, to say “Let’s look the other way. Everybody was doing something. If you’re not cheating, you’re not trying.”

So the writers offer the only path to the Hall of Fame.