With Alex Rodriguez on the brink of hitting his 600th homerun, it’s a better time than any to discuss whether he belongs in the Hall of Fame. If it wasn’t for the steroid allegations, A-Rod would be a lock to be elected on the first ballot. However, with his admission that he did take steroids while playing for Texas from 2001-2003, there are many people who believe he does not deserve this honor.
As disappointed I am with his admission, A-Rod absolutely belongs in the Hall of Fame. Assuming there are no other allegations for the remainder of his contract that expires in 2017, he will have enough time to change people’s perception of him as a steroid cheater. If he remains healthy, we are talking about a guy who will break the all-time homerun record. Granted, it will only be short lived considering Albert Pujols should be able to shatter the record.
A-rod’s situation is a bit different then some other players who have been outed as a steroid user. Players such as Mark Mcgwire, Rafael Palmeiro, and Sammy Sosa were either retired or at the tail end of their careers when they were accused. If you look at the hall of fame votes during the past few years, Mcgwire has only received 20% of the votes for entry. It looks like he will never be voted in unless the veteran’s committee votes him in years down the road. I don’t think it will get much better for Sosa and Palmeiro.
Now, you have players such as Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds. This is a tough one. I don’t believe they took steroids their entire career. Many people speculate that Bonds and Clemens started taken them during the late 90’s. Before that time, they were both on the right track to the Hall of Fame. I would say yes to both of them considering their dominant careers.
A detailed look into their careers will come at another time, but this column is about A-Rod. Another thing, that is in his favor, is his performance during the 2009 postseason. Up until that point, one of the criticisms of A-Rod was his performances in the playoffs. He has been viewed by many as someone who does not come through in the clutch. But, a few timely homeruns against the Twins and Phillies last year has changed some minds. If it wasn’t for his performance, the Yankees would not have won the World Series last year.
So, in summary, if he has a few more clutch hits in the postseason and stays clean for the remainder of his career, most people will look past his steroids use while with Texas. Then in 2022, he will be a first ballot Hall of Famer.