Next up would be José Reyes, a good player, and a former Blue Jay. But I wouldn’t think we would think he is a Hall of Famer. It is his first time on the ballot.
Reyes played 16 seasons in the MLB. He hit .283/.334/.427 with 145 home runs, 131 triples, and 517 stolen bases. Baseball Reference has him at a 37.5 WAR.
He peaked at a 5.9 WAR, but only had two seasons of WARs over 5. And he didn’t age well (as those of us who watched him play with the Jays know). After the age of 31, he totaled 0.8 WAR. Injuries didn’t help.
And the domestic abuse charge doesn’t help me think of him as a Hall of Famer.
Álex Rodríguez is on the Hall of Fame ballot for the third time. He was on 35.7% of the ballots last year, up a point and a half from his first time on the ballot.
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, and 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 in the 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 Alex 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 greatly sympathized with Alex after reading Joe Torre’s book. Torre spent most of the book telling us how awful Rodriguez was and how wonderful Jeter was. Torre’s book said to us that Alex 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 recently, giving us the standard cliches. That has nothing to do with whether he should be in the Hall.
Alex gets 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 understand his wanting to punch Alex’s lights out.
Rodriguez? He seems to go through life like a child with no impulse control. If it is 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.’ 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).
Rodriguez’ numbers are here.
Would you vote Álex Rodríguez into the Baseball Hall of Fame?
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