NEW YORK– Carlos Beltrán will not be a first ballot baseball Hall of Famer and that was revealed Monday when the Baseball Writers’ of America class of 2023 was announced. Though that should not deter those with a privilege to vote to grant him that induction next January.
Over the years more than one Latino ballplayer has failed on their first year of eligibility and that is why this process is subjective and at times not a fair system, though, Beltrán and others in this first year of eligibility have nine more years to get their call to the Hall of of Fame up in Cooperstown, NY.
But Beltrán has the credentials: The only switch hitter in baseball history with 2,725 hits, 435 home runs, and 312 stolen bases.
Yet from the consensus of a few writers, those I spoke with, Beltrán, a nine-time All-Star, three-time Gold Glove and Silver Slugger winner was tarnished because of a sign-stealing cheating scandal of that 2017 Houston Astros World Series championship team
That was another dark eye for baseball, and similar to the extent of the cheaters in a steroid era scandal that rocked baseball, those mentioned or implicated again-and- again have been denied enshrinement and without a plaque on the famed walls up in Cooperstown.
The process is subjective and open to debate, many times the justification as to why or why not is difficult to understand. There is always controversy and analysis a day after. Discussion months before as to who should or not be in the new class of inductees.
Discussions that analyze a revision of the process, perhaps bypassing the bylaws of those with the credentials for enshrinement but denied because of a scandal.
Well, Beltrán, as I have stated, will get his call. But it wasn’t this first time and nothing to cause a stir, though, perhaps one of the all-time great ball players from Puerto Rico deserved that 75 percent majority this first time around.
He fell short with 46 percent percent but there is next year or the year after, at least nine more times to get that deserved call.
Subjective as I said, opinions or writers who perceive Carlos Beltrán as a cheater?
Recall, so many years later, the steroid era ballplayers have been punished and denied enshrinement in what became a historic and dark era for the game of baseball.
Those select few of the Baseball Writers of America with their majority, of which I am not a member, will never forgive the steroid cheaters. Though, Carlos Beltrán was never implicated but mentioned as the only player involved with the scandal.
He was denied this time and with a crowded field of eligible former players next year, perhaps will be denied that majority percentage again for enshrinement a second time.
But a scandal of sign-stealing to me has never been as harsh as the steroid cheats. Tell me, how many years of teams that have won their share of World Series championships, or during the course of a long season, have not used a cheating system to steal signs that enabled a hitter or pitcher to get the advantage?
Sign-stealing on the base paths or from the dugout with hand signals have always been a part of the game, but those in the hierarchy of baseball never cracked down.
Carlos Beltrán, though, in his first year of eligibility was held hostage and denied Hall of Fame enshrinement. He won’t be the last but will get his call soon. It’s not the end of the world for Carlos Beltrán, and baseball has slowly but surely recovered again from a scandal.
I have my theories, and can also not forgive the steroid cheats that needed body enhancement support to supplement numbers that would lead to huge contracts, and was that era not all about greed and money for the owners and players?
So, I can understand colleagues that deny Carlos Beltrán a vote for Hall of Fame enshrinement, they, too, with their reasons of cheating on the field or in the dugout where it all mattered, as many say was a bogus World Series championship for the Astros.
Though the numbers here are credible. And the case for Carlos Beltrán is viable.
Rich Mancuso: Co-editor and 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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