FILE - In this July 19, 2007, file photo, San Francisco Giants’ Barry Bonds hits a three-run home run during the seventh inning of a baseball game
FILE - In this July 19, 2007, file photo, San Francisco Giants' Barry Bonds hits a three-run home run during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs in Chicago. With the cloud of steroids shrouding the candidacies of Bonds, Roger Clemens and others, baseball writers on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, might not elect anyone to the Hall of Fame for only the second time in four decades. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File) (M. Spencer Green/AP Photo)

We'll find out on Wednesday morning who will join baseball's elite when the Baseball Writers Association of America announces the results of this year's balloting.

The Bay Area News Group has a handful of the nearly 600 writers nationwide who were expected to cast votes on the 36-player ballot.

Greg Maddux is the only player each of our seven writers agreed deserved their vote this year.

Here's a look at the ballots of our BANG writers and some of their thoughts behind their choices:

TIM KAWAKAMI, Columnist:

Bagwell: From last year's comment, and it still very much stands...

Short Bagwell summary: 22nd all-time career OPS (ahead of Willie Mays and Ty Cobb!), *DEC 2013 UPDATE: NOW 21ST ALL-TIME... tied with Rose for 59th all-time in career WAR (wins above replacement—the holy grail of Stats and a great relative stat, I might add).

And unlike Bonds or Sosa, Bagwell had all of his best seasons before he turned 35, and the post-35 power-explosion is the No. 1 thing I'm marking down in HOF/PED voting. Bagwell survives the PED-siphoning. At least mine.

Biggio: Voted for him last year, voted for him this year because I think his longevity gives him the nod over Kent. According to some calculations, he's a top-50 all-time player. That's a bit much, but he makes it on my ballot again.


Advertisement

Bonds: Fourth all-time in career WAR. Same as with Clemens, I believe Bonds would've been easily HOF-worthy if he hadn't taken steroids. He wasn't the only taking them.

Clemens: (See Bonds)

Glavine: Voting for him. Two Cy Youngs, helped lead a staff into the playoffs 12 times, a soft-tossing lefty who turned in consistent winning performances against juiced-up hitters.

FILE - In this Sept. 22, 2002, file photo, Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Greg Maddux delivers to a Florida Marlins batter in the first inning of a
FILE - In this Sept. 22, 2002, file photo, Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Greg Maddux delivers to a Florida Marlins batter in the first inning of a baseballl game at Turner Field in Atlanta. Mad Dog and Glav were fixtures in the Atlanta Braves rotation for years, and now they await word on another possible honor that will keep them together: induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame. ((AP Photo/Erik S. Lesser, File))

Maddux: I can retire (or get dumped) as a HOF voter peacefully, if that should happen, as long as I get to make this vote. (Well, and Pedro Martinez next year and every year until he gets in.) Maddux and Martinez are the two pitchers I've always considered the greatest pound-for-pound of my lifetime, both smallish right-handed maestros who dominated in the Homer-Happy Era.

My vote for Maddux was a done deal from his Cubs days, when I was at Northwestern and wondering why nobody else (possibly including the Cubs management) could see this guy was a great pitcher, even when he was losing games. Then he started winning games. A lot of them.

And oh, Maddux is 25th all-time in career WAR, right behind Frank Robinson and ahead of Mike Schmidt.

Morris: This is last year of initial eligibility. Voted for him last year, will vote for him again. If he doesn't make it, he doesn't make it. But the longevity + postseason success decides it for me.

Raines: This year he got the 10th and final slot after some re-consideration.

From my original decision to vote for him two years ago...

I didn't want to mine the stats too much on this one—after watching most of his career, it's just plain to me that Raines was the one of the top five lead-off hitters of his or any era, so he's a Hall of Famer, simple as that.

Quick run-through of some stats, thought: 5th all-time in steals (808) , 2,605 career hits, led the NL in runs twice, finished 2nd two other times, and absolutely respected by his peers.

Schilling: Re-considered this one, still got my vote. In a post-season game, you wanted Schilling on the mound and he has the stats to prove it.

Thomas: Done deal, even though I'm leery of guys who mainly were DHs. He's HOF-worthy because he was an incredible DH. Thomas is 14th all-time in career OPS, currently between Stan Musial and Miguel Cabrera, and that seems fitting.

Kawakami expounded upon his Hall of Fame ballot in his blog post a week ago

MIKE LEFKOW, assistant sports editor:

Bagwell

Biggio: Always felt he was one of the most underrated and under-appreciated players in the game. Moved from catcher to second. Most players, when they give up catching, go to a corner spot in the infield or outfield. Great offensively and defensively.

Bonds: Was the most dominant player I ever watched, including my all-time favorite Willie Mays.

Clemens

Glavine

Maddux: Won 20 only twice, but won at least 15 for 17 straight seasons. Wow!

McGwire: Almost left him off. Came down to McGwire and Jeff Kent. But I believe that players who break certain, cherished records -- 70 homers in 1998 -- belong. Was his record cheapened by steroid use? Maybe. But a lot of players -- and pitchers -- were using. And a lot of guys before McGwire's generation used greenies. So where do we draw the line on cheating?

Piazza:

Smith: Had 478 saves. Still ranks third all-time, behind Rivera and Trevor Hoffman, I believe. Think both of them will be Hall of Famers. Dennis Eckersley is a Hall of Famer -- deservedly so. So is Bruce Sutter. Lee Smith belongs there, too.

Thomas: Totaled seven straight seasons of 20+ homers, 100 RBI, 100 walks and .300 batting average. An absolutely great player.

MARK PURDY, columnist:

Glavine: He actually made more All-Star teams (10) than Maddux (8). Five 20-win seasons is also really impressive -- and puts him a level above the other pitchers on the ballot. won a World Series ring and was named MVP of that series.

Maddux: An automatic in my book. He won four consecutive Cy Youngs and (more impressively to me) had a record 17 straight seasons with at least 15 victories. The 355 career victories and 18 Gold Gloves are just more evidence that he's at the top of this class.

Smith: I don't understand why he hasn't been inducted yet and continues to receive fewer votes than others. When he retired, he was the all-time Major League leader in saves (478) and games finished (802). Still is third all time in saves. When I watched him pitch, I always thought: "There's a Hall of Famer."

Thomas: This was my hardest decision because even though he was never connected to any PED taint, Thomas did play in the heart of that era. It's unfair to me that the Hall of Fame forces voters to guess about this stuff and provides no guidelines. But in his time, Thomas was as fearsome a guy to step into a batters' box. He hit 30 or more home runs in nine seasons, won back to back MVP awards, ranks 18th all time in home runs (521) and 20th in on-base percentage (.419). He's the only player in history to have seven consecutive seasons of hitting at least 20 home runs, 100 RBI, 100 walks and .300 batting average.

CARL STEWARD, writer:

Bagwell

Biggio

Bonds

Clemens

Glavine

Maddux

Morris

Piazza

Raines

Thomas.

NOTES: Left off McGwire, Smith and Trammell, players I've voted for before. Ffirst time in 20 years I have not voted for someone I had previously voted for before. Would have voted for them again except for the max 10 voting limitation, which makes absolutely no sense to me. Hence, I had to prioritize. I had a list of 19 players I considered realistic candidates. My first priority was voting for deserving players with no PED links: Biggio, Morris, Raines, Thomas, Glavine and Maddux. I then voted for Bonds and Clemens, two of the game's greatest players in history regardless of their PED involvement. I then voted for Piazza and Bagwell, deserving candidates whose links to PEDs are primarily suspicion-based but sketchy.

JON BECKER, Digital sports editor:

Bagwell: A truly elite hitter who is being kept out of Cooperstown because of PED suspicions.

Bonds: He's in the argument for baseball's all-time best player, so you can't dispute he belongs in Cooperstown. Despite his link to PEDs, the Hall of Fame remains a worse place without him.

Clemens: Like Bonds, he earned his HOF credentials even before his association with PEDs. Like Bonds, he's among the handful of the greatest player at his position ever.

Glavine: The 300-game winner is poised to join his Braves buddy Maddux in the Hall.

Maddux: The most widely respected pitcher of his generation, the 300-game winner is a no-brainer.

Piazza: He's one of the greatest hitting catchers of all-time and, according to defensive metrics, not as bad behind the plate as his reputation would suggest.

Raines: He did a lot of things Rickey Henderson did, just not as well. Doesn't mean he doesn't deserve baseball immortality.

Thomas: The numbers show he's among the greatest hitters in baseball history. Next to Bonds, the most feared hitter of his generation.

Trammell: A great offensive and defensive player, his career 70.3 WAR shows he's better than 16 shortstops already in Cooperstown.

Walker: To label him a Coors creation is a mile high fallacy. The five-tool player had off-the-chart numbers in Montreal and St. Louis as well.

JOHN HICKEY, A's beat writer:

Bonds

Glavine

Kent

Maddux

Martinez

McGwire

Morris

Smith

RICK HURD, writer:

Biggio

Bonds

Clemens

Maddux

Martinez

Morris

Piazza

Raines

Schilling

Smith