Alex Rodriguez's Case for Cooperstown

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Alex Rodriguez's Case for Cooperstown
Can Alex Rodriguez homer his way to Cooperstown?

Since the inaugural class in 1936, 295 players have entered the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

Many legends of the diamond have left a legacy and will be remembered for lifetimes to come.

From recent inductees Ron Santo and Barry Larkin to the likes of Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb in 1936, only a select few earn the right to be enshrined.

What does it take to get into the Hall of Fame?

According to the current rules, players must have at least 10 years of MLB experience and be five years removed from playing.

Players meeting these qualifications must pass through a screening committee, and are then voted on by the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA).

Each writer may vote for up to 10 players; to be admitted into the Hall of Fame, a player must be approved by 75 percent of those casting ballots.

Mark McGwire, Pete Rose, and Shoeless Joe Jackson haven't garnered enough support to make the cut.

Rose and Jackson, are banned from baseball for gambling on the sport.

Home run king Mark McGwire is not in the hall of fame because of his involvement with performance-enhancing drugs.

Next year, Barry Bonds takes his first shot at Cooperstown.

On January 11th, 2010, McGwire admitted to using steroids before becoming the hitting coach for the St. Louis Cardinals.

"I wish I had never touched steroids. It was foolish and it was a mistake," McGwire said. "I truly apologize. Looking back, I wish I had never played during the steroid era."

Which brings us to Alex Rodriguez.

For 18 years, Rodriguez has played professional baseball.

In 2,402 games, Rodriguez has amassed 631 home runs, 1897 runs batted in and has a .301 lifetime batting average.

It is hard to believe A-Rod is only 131 home runs shy of Barry Bonds' record-setting number of 762.

Injuries have plagued A-Rod's run at greatness and has slowed him down quite a bit.

Rodriguez only played in 99 games last season, the first time he has played that few since his second season in Seattle in 1995.

Before the 2009 season, a report by Sports Illustrated's Selena Roberts crippled A-Rod's career quicker than any injury on the field could have.

Previously, in a 2007 60 Minutes interview with Katie Couric, Rodriguez said he had never taken a performance-enhancing drug.

Alex Rodriguez with his first and the Yankees 27th World Championship in 2009.

After the story broke in 2009, Rodriguez changed direction and admitted to use of PEDs during his time in Texas from 2001-2003.

The admission is a true black eye on the game and his career.

However, before that story even broke, Rodriguez was already receiving negative criticism from baseball fans around the world.

The problem with him is that he just wants to be accepted and liked.  He's so concerned with what others think of him that he either ends up trying too hard to be loved or coming off as a selfish jerk.

So, when he goes into the dugout for the last time, likely at the end of the 2017 season when his contract expires, will he be a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame?

I would like to think so.

Rodriguez's situation is different than those of Barry Bonds, and Mark McGwire.

In addition to admitting to using performance-enhancing drugs in a timely manner, Rodriguez is still an active player.

Post-steroid admission, Rodriguez helped the Yankees secure their 27th World Championship in 2009 with a stellar postseason.

Alex Rodriguez ESPN interview with Peter Gammons.

His six home runs and 18 runs batted in, most of which came in clutch situations, propelled him to his first World Series ring.

With that, I would hope that another championship run is in store as well.

Everything he does in his career from this point forward is vital to his Hall candidacy.  However, I doubt some writers care either way and have made up their minds already.

A-Rod had doubters about performing in the clutch during the postseason and put a lid on that with his 2009 performance.  

He has the same doubters for his chances to make it to the Hall of Fame.

For the next five years, we sit back and watch history happen in front of our eyes.

One day, it will all be over for Rodriguez.  For now, though, he has some work to do.

 

"Tonight, we are young.  So let's set the world on fire, we can burn brighter than the sun." -Fun "We Are Young"

 

2022, if we are all still here, will likely be the first year of eligibility for Rodriguez.  If dreams can come true, he will be inducted.

If he isn't inducted, then some things just stay the same.

 

Follow me on Twitter @nyyrobinson.

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