New York- That time of year and three weeks gone from crowning the Houston Astros as 2022 World Series champions and time now to consider names for induction to the 2023 National Baseball Hall of Fame up in Cooperstown, New York.
I don’t have that opportunity to check names on the ballot. The select few, that I am not, get that opportunity as members of the Baseball Writers of America, though there are my reasons as to why I choose to not be a member of that group.
The good thing, Latino Sports in a few weeks will compile a list of position players and pitchers that will be considered for nomination towards the prestigious and annual Latino Sports Writers & Broadcasters 2022 MVP honor. More of that will come soon as ballots will be tabulated with a panel of writers and editors that comprise our distinguished group of members.
Monday the annual ballot compiled for induction into the 2023 Hall Of Fame class were distributed as those former players will await their word into possible enshrinement at ceremonies. Ballots are due by the end of the year and results announced January 24, 2023. Players on the ballot will need 75 percent of the vote for induction.
Here are the names for 2023 induction up in Cooperstown, NY that take place with ceremonies on Sunday July 23:
Bobby Abreu, Bronson Arroyo, Carlos Beltran, Mark Buehrle, Matt Cain, R.A. Dickey, Jacoby Ellsbury, Andre Ethier, J.J. Hardy, Todd Helton, Torri Hunter, Andruw Jones, Jeff Kent, John Lackey, Mike Napoli, Johnny Peralta, Andy Pettitte, Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez, Francisco Rodriguez, Scott Rolen, Jimmy Rollins, Gary Sheffield, Huston Street, Omar Vizquel, Billy Wagner, Jered Weaver, Jayson Werth
All in that category with qualifications, though I always said a player criteria of hitting 500 home runs and pitcher compiling 300 career wins is an automatic cinch for first ballot consideration. But there are circumstances with 500 home run hitters having that stigma as being a part of that steroid era that gave baseball a dark eye.
And that also pertained to certain pitchers who were under scrutiny bypassed, example is Roger Clemens. And as baseball continues to expand their interest and gain revenue from online wagering there remains a question about Pete Rose, the all-time hits leader and continued punishment of not being enshrined because he wagered on his team as a manager and player.
Though, Rose paid his dues and time to get his fame despite the controversy and one of those committees that make these decisions are destined to do the right thing. You can’t continue to deny the numbers and history that Rose accomplished on the field.
So let’s focus here on two names of prominence, Carlos Beltran and Alex Rodriguez, two Latinos on the current ballot. Also look into Francisco Rodriguez (K-Rod) the first timer with a 16-year career, fourth all-time in saves with 437, six All-Star selections, sixth in AL MVP voting in 2008 after a record breaking season of 62 saves with the Angels.
He is not in the category of those who have been bypassed on the ballot because of alleged or implicated for using PEDs during that steroid era and should receive a fair share of votes but coming up short for the first time.
The Votes for Carlos Beltran: He has the numbers and should be considered that first ballot name, though on that Houston Astros roster in their 2017 scandal championship year will have implications. Beltran was the main player on a team found guilty of illegal sign sign stealing and a central focus on a MLB investigation.
All of that won’t be bypassed, though Beltran in 20 big league seasons had the numbers: 435 home runs, 1,587 RBI, 312 stolen bases, nine All-Star selections, three Gold Gloves, 1999 Al Rookie of The Year.
Despite never getting a suspension from MLB, Beltran was appointed manager of the NY Mets and was readily dismissed because of the scandal. Regardless, he is considered one of the all-time baseball greats from Puerto Rico. He would get my vote if I had one, again, I view this as an issue and for a further cause to open the doors at Cooperstown for Pete Rose.
The Denial for Alex Rodriguez: Make no mistake about it, A-Rod was a great hitter when he did it the proper way, then again it can be argued that he wasn’t alone when it came to using illegal performance enhancing drugs. But an era that thrived on the home run ball, and a commissioner negligent because home runs put people in the seats caught up to a tarnished career.
I can never consider A-Rod, or Barry Bonds as all-time home run leaders, regardless of those who continued to hit huge home run balls at a record base and were never under scrutiny or implicated.
Fact is, Alex Rodriguez is ranked fourth on the all-time career home run list. Despite all of his athleticism and persona was caught red handed. He received 34.3 percent of the vote on his first ballot and this stigma will always remain with his name.
Eventually the name of Alex Rodriguez will no longer be on the ballot. Unless the Hall of Fame designates a special wing for those who had the numbers, but were denied their shrine because of scandal, A-Rod will never see his name up in Cooperstown.
Strictly opinion here, reminder I am not a part of the voting process.
Rich Mancuso is a senior writer @Latinosports.com. Twitter@Ring786 Facebook.com Watch “Sports with Rich” live on Tuesday Nights at 8pm EST on The SLG Network/Youtube with Robert Rizzo Available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify under The SLG Network..
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