Alex Rodriguez is on the Hall of Fame ballot for the second time. He was on 34.3% of the ballots last year, which would be an excellent start, but there will be a lot of the old-timers who won’t look at how great a player he was and will only listen to how much Bud Selig and Joe Torre hated him.
By the numbers, he is easily a Hall of Famer. He played for 22 seasons. Hit .295/.380/.550 with 696 home runs (4th all-time), 2086 RBI (also 4th) and 329 stolen bases.
He made the All-Star team 14 times, won 3 MVPs, got MVP votes 15 times, won 2 Gold Gloves and 10 Silver Sluggers. And he owns a World Series ring.
His career bWAR was 117.5 (12th all-time among position players (without the suspensions, he would be top 10).
He played seven seasons with the Mariners, three with the Rangers and twelve with the Yankees.
He played shortstop until coming to the Yankees, where he moved over to third, despite being a far better defensive SS than Derek Jeter (and Jeter is the one called a great teammate).
On the flip side, there was PEDs. I don’t think any of us have any doubt that he used (though he never tested positive (except for the 2003 testing that the MLB used to ‘see if there was a problem’ when they promised the players that names wouldn’t come out, whoops).
If you read the book Baseball Cop, you see that MLB targeted ARod in their investigations. For whatever reason, Bud Selig seemed to have something personal against Alex (like he did against the Expos). But, of course, Selig is in the Hall of Fame.
I gained a lot of sympathy for Alex after reading Joe Torre’s book. Torre spent most of the book telling us how awful Rodriguez was and how wonderful Jeter was. The one that got me was Alex was terrible. After all, he watched baseball highlights after games, and Jeter was great because he never looked at baseball after games. Unfortunately, the book was so over the top (and, of course, I’m tired of the constant adoration Jeter gets) that it had the opposite effect on me. I liked Alex more and Jeter less after reading it.
When Rodriguez started doing TV broadcasting, I liked him. He did his homework and came in with interesting things to say, but he has gone over to the dark side in recent times, giving us the standard cliches. Not that that has anything to do with whether he should be in the Hall.
Alex seems to get painted as a creep, and I don’t know if there are reasons for that or if it is the public relations campaign that MLB has been running against him.
But then there was also the moment with Howie Clark, which didn’t need anyone’s spin to make him look like a creep. I wrote:
I’m sure I never saw Johnny Mac that angry any other time. I can understand it. McDonald was a good guy. I’d imagine he saw it as a total violation of ‘the code’. I’m sure John could emphasize with Clark. He could understand how hard it is to get that major league job as a utility infielder. Seeing someone take advantage of Clark, I can understand his wanting to punch Alex’s lights out.
Rodriguez? Well, he seems to go through life like a child with no impulse control. If it seems like a good idea at the time, do it. I’m sure there wasn’t any active thought that ‘hey this guy is new to the league; let’s screw with him’. I think there is more impulse than thought with Alex.
As with several on the list, the vote depends on your thoughts on PEDs. I don’t think PEDs should keep a player out of the Hall (since we don’t know how many are already in who used, and we don’t know how many in the Hall used amphetamines or other substances to cheat). On the other hand, do we keep out any 2017 Astro players who end up with numbers that would otherwise get them into the Hall? I guess we’ll find out when we see Carlos Beltran’s numbers.
Would you vote Alex Rodriguez into the Baseball Hall of Fame?
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