Just as the Baseball Writers’ Association of America — and perhaps the Baseball Hall of Fame — is nearly done with Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Curt Schilling, there’s an even more complicated figure about to arrive: Alex Rodriguez.
Rodriguez is set to be on the ballot for the first time later this year, along with another slugger with a questionable past — David Ortiz, who has denied ever using steroids.
Rodriguez said two years ago he was rooting for Bonds and Clemens to get to Cooperstown.
“Of course I want them to get in, because that would mean that I have an opportunity to get in one day,” Rodriguez said on ESPN.
Bonds and Clemens are two of the most notorious steroid cheats in baseball history, but they have nothing on Rodriguez, who admitted to using PEDs while with the Rangers from 2001-03 and was suspended for the 2014 season due to his role in the Biogenesis scandal, which included not just steroids, but also lawsuits against baseball and the Yankees — which were eventually dropped.
Even before his 2016 retirement, Rodriguez began working on rehabbing his image and he’s been successful enough that he’s still as much a face of baseball as anyone.
And his reputation has improved enough that he’s seen everywhere from ESPN, to Fox Business to Joe Biden’s inauguration, where he accompanied fiancée Jennifer Lopez.
How that translates into votes for the Hall is up for debate.
And he’s clearly hoping his public disgrace doesn’t disqualify him from entry.
“Look, I pray every day I get a chance to get in,’’ Rodriguez said in 2019. “The Hall of Fame is the ultimate place. If you think about Roger and Barry specifically … if you stopped their career at the age of 33 or 34, they were both first-ballot [Hall of Famers] and then the noise [about PEDs] started. For me, it’s just a shame. I am certainly cheering for both of them. I like them both very much. They’re both friends, and I’m in their corner.”
Rodriguez’s on-field credentials are impeccable, with 696 home runs, 3,115 hits, three AL MVP awards and 14 All-Star appearances.
But while his career that spanned 22 seasons rivals the best in history, his transgressions probably surpass any other player.
“I made my case when I made my mistakes,” Rodriguez said on ESPN. “I’m going to have to lie in my bed. I’m still hoping that I can one day get in.”