It turned out to be a rough first trip for Alex Rodriguez in his hopes of making it to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Rodriguez, a three-time Most Valuable Player, received 135 of 394 votes from members of the Baseball Writers Association of America, 34.3 percent of the total, not even half of the 75 percent needed for the election. He’s got nine shots to go.
His introduction to this process also led to the removal of 10-year-old candidates Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa, all of whom faced strong speculation about illegal performance-enhancing drug use, without actually getting caught. Rodriguez, on the other hand, was caught. He served out the 2014 season after being found guilty of violating the collectively negotiated rules of the game.
The infielder’s best chance at a turnaround probably lies in electorate turnover, as younger writers gain a voice (with 10 years of service in the BBWAA) and take a different stance on the illegal PED issue. However, the exclusion of Bonds, Clemens and Sosa undoubtedly hurts his cause, while the good news for A-Rod’s fellow freshman candidate David Ortiz probably doesn’t help much, as Ortiz, who failed the 2003 investigative test for illegal PEDs, never made it into the problems when the discipline came into effect.
Slugger Manny Ramirez, the only other player on the ballot officially caught using illegal PEDs (he was even caught twice), trailed Rodriguez at 28.9 percent, a measly 0.7 percent increase in his fifth attempt. .
In other mood developments:
- Third baseman Scott Rolen will land the role of ‘top returning candidate’ in 2023, as he rose from 52.9 percent to 63.2 last year. With five years to go, the former Phillie, Cardinal, Blue Jay and Red have a good chance of getting elected. Rockies legend Todd Helton (52 percent, fourth year) and poet Billy Wagner (51 percent, seventh year) both hit the 50 percent milestone for the first time.
- Despite all the understandable focus on Curt Schilling, who plummeted from 71.1 percent to 58.6 percent in his last shot after declaring war on the BBWAA last year, shortstop Omar Vizquel experienced an even bigger drop, from 49.1 percent. to 23.9 percent. of allegations of domestic violence. Vizquel has five more years of eligibility.
- Yankees legend Andy Pettitte fell from 13.7 percent to 10.7 percent in his fourth year, a likely casualty of those who voted for both Ortiz and A-Rod and ran out of room for the left-hander on the maximum vote of ten. preserve.
- Next year: Carlos Beltran! The former Met and Yankee will bring a whole new conundrum into play: How should Hall voters view those implicated in the Astros character set scandal of 2017?