With baseball's hot stove degraded to lukewarm this offseason, the annual Hall of Fame debates have generated more than the usual fervor. With the results set to be announced Wednesday (3 p.m. EST, MLB Network), a few questions and answers:
Question: Are Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens getting into the Hall of Fame this time?
Q: Who is?
A: Chipper Jones, Vladimir Guerrero and Jim Thome, based on the tabulations of Ryan Thibodaux, who has compiled the more than half the ballots publicly revealed in advance of Wednesday's announcement. Trevor Hoffman and Edgar Martinez are on the bubble.
Q: What would be noteworthy if Hoffman and Martinez are elected?
A: The Baseball Writers' Association of America, or BBWAA, has not elected five players in the same year since 1936 -- its first year of voting. The elected class that year: Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Babe Ruth and Honus Wagner.
Q: Would five players make for a long induction ceremony?
A: The July 28 induction ceremony also will include Jack Morris and Alan Trammell, who were selected last month by a Hall of Fame veterans committee. So the ceremony could include as many as seven players.
Q: If Hoffman and Martinez are elected, what player would get the most votes without getting elected? Bonds or Clemens?