Alex Rodriguez has announced that he will retire after his contract expires at the end of the 2017 season. As of the start of the 2016 season, he has 14 All Star Game appearances, 10 Silver Sluggers, 3 AL MVPs, lead the AL in home runs 5 times, has over 3,000 hits, is only 13 home runs away from 700, and won a World Series Championship in 2009 with the New York Yankees. He also has an MLB record 25 Grand Slams. Those are some pretty excellent numbers. Does this mean he’ll be a shoo in for the Hall of Fame?
The short answer is no.
The long answer well – here’s a few reasons why.
Reason #1: The steroids
Yes, this is very much an easy target to hit when discussing Alex Rodriguez’s career. Another sad reminder of the time that ruined baseball for a lot of fans. It was bad enough when he initially admitted that he used them during his time with the Texas Rangers due to “overwhelming pressure”. However, a few years later he was actually caught! This time there was no forgiveness, and he was suspended for the entirety of the 2014 season, burying his reputation even further with an industrial strength drill.
Reason #2: His mega contracts
Yes I know some people will argue that he earned the contract by performing well through some of the years. To which I say, it’s one thing to earn your money. It’s another when your teams suck as a result of all the wasted cap space. No, I will not be bringing up his failed trade to Boston that was the union’s fault and everybody knows it. Alex Rodriguez has had multiple contracts throughout his career that have taken up cap space. This would be one thing if it made a difference. Spoiler alert, it did not. It’s one thing to bring in fans to have a spectacle be put on, and it’s another to win championships. Alex Rodriguez often failed to carry his teams on his own, which leads me into my next point.
Reason #3: His tenure with the Texas Rangers
After six seasons with the Seattle Mariners, Alex Rodriguez signed the richest contract in baseball history at the time with the Texas Rangers. Three losing seasons later, he wanted out, and eventually ran into the arms of George Steinbrenner and the New York Yankees. The dream was over. Alex Rodriguez getting traded to the Yankees was a total slap in the face to every Rangers fan.
Reason #4: The glove slap
Yes, the infamous slap in Game 6 of the 2004 ALCS. For those who need a refresher, here’s what happened. It was the Bottom of the 8th, Derek Jeter was on second base, and yours truly Mr. Alex Rodriguez was in the batter’s box. He hits a slow grounder that was picked up by Bronson Arroyo. As Arroyo runs to tag him out, instead of taking the out like a man, Rodriguez proceeds to knock the ball out of Arroyo’s glove. After a quick review, the umpires realized that yes in fact, Rodriguez did interfere and called him out. Subsequently, he freaked out saying that it was his “running motion”, and Yankees fans only enabled him by then tossing garbage on to the field. Stay classy New York, you guys really have it tough.
Reason #5: His peers have not made it
Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, and Roger Clemens. All four have had controversies with steroids preventing their entry into the Hall of Fame. What would make ARod any different? And as mentioned, unlike those four, Rodriguez was actually caught again after he initially admitted and apologized. That is a new low.
In short, unless Hall of Fame voters can overlook the quitting mentality, classless actions in the postseason, and also elect Bonds, Sosa, McGwire, and Clemens to the Hall of Fame, ARod can pretty much say “See ya” to his chances of getting into the Hall of Fame.