Multiple former SF Giants will discover their fate in 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame voting on Tuesday - whether they'll be enshrined in Cooperstown this year, remain on the ballot to have a chance in the future or fall off future ballots and end their chances for induction will be determined by members of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) with at least 10 years in the organization under their belts.
For the past three years, FanSided has enlisted their MLB team experts to submit mock votes for the Baseball Hall of Fame. The results of those votes will be announced Monday, January 24, the day before the Hall of Fame makes the official announcement.
When considering how to vote, I simply chose to analyze the on-field play and accomplishments of each player. Most of the players on this ballot participated during the Steroid Era, a time in which a federal investigator in the BALCO scandal (and likely many others around the game) believed "a major portion of MLB players used P.E.D.s." Some of them are rumored to have used performance-enhancing drugs, others failed at least one test, and some were believed to be clean - but we really don't know the extent of how many of these players used or for how long.
It's also widely believed that a few players who used P.E.D.s have been voted in to the Hall of Fame already, and Bud Selig - the commissioner who turned a blind eye to (and therefore encouraged) steroid use - was enshrined in 2017, so the electorate at large has lost the ability to claim morality police in order to keep out certain players they just don't like.
My mock Baseball Hall of Fame ballot:
The game's all-time home run king (don't give me any of that asterisk nonsense) was a surefire Hall of Famer before the generally accepted time he began using P.E.D.s (somewhere around 1999). He took home MVP awards in 1990, 1992 and 1993 (and probably should have won in 1991, when he finished second but bested actual winner Terry Pendleton by almost two full bWAR). In 13 seasons through 1998 he was already the only player in MLB history with both 400 home runs and 400 stolen bases; he'd finish with over 500 in each category.
Bonds was other-worldly from 2001 to 2004, when he hit .349 overall (winning two batting titles), launched 209 homers (including a single-season record 73 in 2001), drew 755 walks - actually being issued more intentional walks (284) than times he struck out (239) - and won the MVP all four years. Steroids doesn't help with the batting eye and knowledge of the strike zone; Bonds proved he was simply better than anyone else, with or without "The Cream" or "The Clear". He also won eight Gold Gloves and was voted to 14 All-Star Games. Whether Bonds or his godfather, Willie Mays, is the best player in baseball history will be a debate until the end of time. It's a crime that the BBWAA hasn't put him in the Hall of Fame.
"The Rocket" was one of the greatest pitchers ever, winning seven Cy Young awards and going 354-184 in his career with a 3.12 ERA. He won his first Cy Young in 1986 at the age of 24, and the last as a 42-year-old in 2004. He supposedly began using steroids in 1998, when he was coming off his fourth Cy Young and, at the age of 35, had 213 wins, a 2.97 ERA and nearly 3000 strikeouts.
Probably the most on-the-fence of any player on my list. He was just 19 when he made his MLB debut in 1996, and he retired at 35 after the 2012 season. He won 10 consecutive Gold Glove awards from 1998 to 2007 and was widely regarded as one of - if not the - best defensive center fielders in history. Defense wasn't his only strength; Jones launched 434 home runs and stole 152 bases.
Just a .254 career hitter, Jones had a discerning eye at the plate (891 walks and a .337 OBP) that added value beyond batting average, and helped him remain at least a league-average offensive player three times in his final five seasons when - at least by batting average - he looked like he was finished. For the defensive wizardry and positive contributions with the bat, Andruw Jones receives a vote from me.
Kent debuted in 1992 but didn't come into his own until his first year in San Francisco, 1997, when he received his first MVP votes. Three years later he won the award over teammate Bonds. A late-bloomer with just 78 homers in his first five seasons, Kent exploded at 29 and was a feared slugger until the age of 40. His 377 home runs are the most in history by a player with at least 2/3 of his games at second base.
"Big Papi" showed promise with Minnesota in his mid-20s but was released by the Twins after a .272 average and 20 home runs in 2002. He signed with Boston and broke out, hitting over 30 home runs each of the next five seasons. Ortiz slugged 541 homers in 20 seasons, finishing with 38 (and a league-leading 48 doubles and .620 slugging percentage) in his 2016 swan song. He reportedly tested positive for P.E.D.s in 2003 (a test which was supposed to be anonymous), but had a great relationship with the media and will likely be voted into Cooperstown soon, if not this year.
An adventure in the clubhouse and on defense, Ramirez was a beast with the bat. A .312 career hitter with 555 round trippers, "ManRam" is doubtless one of the top power hitters in MLB history.
One of the players who helped usher in the change from seeing a shortstop as just a defender to an all-around standout, A-Rod admitted to using steroids and was suspended for the entire 2014 season as a penalty for failed steroid tests. But, again, I just care what the players did on the field. How about averaging 40 home runs per 162 games (696 career blasts). His case is cemented by three MVPs, two Gold Gloves and 14 All-Star Games.
Third base is an oft-overlooked position in the Baseball Hall of Fame: just 17 have been selected, the least of any position that uses a glove (designated hitter is technically the fewest, with two). Rolen should be #18. A slick fielder, he won eight Gold Gloves in his 17-year career; the first came at age 23 and the last at 35. In addition to stellar defense, he helped his teams win with the bat by hitting .281 with 316 homers and 517 doubles. A rare two-way third baseman with longevity should get a plaque in Cooperstown.
The last of nine players I voted for, Wagner is remembered as a good closer and unique story: just 5'10 and drafted out of NCAA Division 3 Ferrum College, he was finishing games in Houston at age 24 (2.44 ERA, nine saves in 37 games) and was dominant through his retirement after 2010 (1.43 ERA, 37 saves, 104 K's in 69 1/3 innings in 2010). Simply put, for 14 out of 15 years - a 6.18 ERA blip in 2000 notwithstanding - almost any time Wagner trotted in with a lead, the game was essentially over. The southpaw accumulated 422 career saves with a 2.31 ERA and 1196 strikeouts in 903 innings pitched.
That's my take on the 2022 Hall of Fame ballot. Who do you think should have been put on...or left off?