The 2022 MLB Hall of Fame ballots are officially out, and one name in particular has reignited a debate that has been going for years. Long-time Yankee third baseman Alex Rodriguez is eligible for the first time this year. Rodriguez joins Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa, and the infamous Barry Bonds on the list of known steroid users currently on the ballot. The question is whether he can break the stigma and find his way into the Hall.
A-Rod by the Numbers
It is nearly impossible to dispute the body of work Alex Rodriguez put together over the course of his 22-year career. A-Rod has a career batting average of .295, with 696 home runs and over 3,000 hits. He is a 3 time MVP, a 14-time All-Star, and 10 time Silver Slugger. After settling down in New York, Rodriguez moved to third base from shortstop. Although his defense was never truly great, A-Rod did manage to snag 2 gold gloves. Rodriquez became the Robin to Derek Jeter’s batman in the Bronx, endearing himself to Yankee fans while alienating himself from the rest of the league at the same time.
While Alex Rodriguez undoubtedly has an impeccable resume, his legacy of steroid use damages his reputation in a major way. In 2009, Rodriguez admitted to previously using steroids in his career. Despite claiming that the scandal was behind him, he once again found himself in the middle of a major steroid bust in 2013. A-Rod received a record 162 games for his connections to the infamous Biogenesis clinic, the longest drug-related suspension in league history. Since Rodriguez admitted to using steroids in the early 2000s, and then was caught once again in 2013, it is difficult to tell exactly which seasons, if any, the Yankee slugger played without the help of PED’s. The multiple scandals have turned Alex Rodriguez from a sure-fire Hall of Famer to an infamous and complicated figure in baseball history.
It is difficult to see Rodriguez getting in before Barry Bonds. Bonds, who still has not been voted in due to his own steroid scandal, was better in pretty much every way. So for as long as Barry remains on the outside looking in, it is hard to imagine any other steroid users making the cut. In reality, the MLB and Hall of Fame should take a firm stance on the issue. The only reason players like Bonds, Clemens, and Rodriguez would not make the Hall is because of their steroid use. So the league should either officially ban all known users from the Hall of Fame, or forgive and forget. It would make it easier for everyone involved to know the rules from the start. Time will tell if the league can truly put the steroid scandal behind them.
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