Alex Rodriguez on Hall of Fame Candidacy: 'I Pray I Get In' Despite PED Link

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistSeptember 14, 2018

FILE - In this Feb. 26, 2015, file photo, New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez sits in the dugout during a spring training baseball workout in Tampa, Fla. Rodriguez is back on the field for the New York Yankees in his new role as an instructor.  A-Rod arrived Friday, Sept. 30, 2016, at the Yankees' minor league complex in Tampa, to work with prospects taking part in instructional league.  (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)
Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

Alex Rodriguez, a three-time American League MVP and 14-time MLB All-Star selection, said he's still hopeful for induction in the Baseball Hall of Fame despite being suspended for the entire 2014 season after violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs.

On Friday, TMZ Sports provided comments from A-Rod, who didn't shy away from the errors in judgment during his playing career.

"There's rules, and you have to follow the rules. I made those mistakes, and at the end of the day I have to live by those mistakes," he said. "Whether I get in or not—and let's be clear, I want to get in, I hope I get in, I pray I get in—if I don't, I think I have a bigger opportunity yet again."

Along with his 2014 suspension, Rodriguez told ESPN's Peter Gammons in 2009 he used a banned substance for a three-year period beginning in 2001.

"Back then, [baseball] was a different culture," he said. "It was very loose. I was young. I was stupid. I was naive. And I wanted to prove to everyone that I was worth being one of the greatest players of all time. I did take a banned substance. And for that, I am very sorry and deeply regretful."

Rodriguez posted a .295/.380/.550 triple-slash line with 696 home runs, the fourth-highest total in history; 2,086 RBI; 2,021 runs scored; and 329 stolen bases in 2,784 games across his 22-year career.

Along with the All-Star appearances and MVPs, his resume also includes 10 Silver Slugger Awards, two Gold Glove Awards and a World Series title with the New York Yankees in 2009.

Those numbers and accolades would make him a surefire Hall of Fame choice if not for the history of PED use.

His chances are questionable at best, though. Barry Bonds, MLB's all-time leader in homers, received just 56.4 percent of votes during 2018 HOF balloting because of allegations he used steroids, though he was never suspended during his playing career.

Rodriguez both received a suspension and admitted PED use, which will make it difficult for him to reach the 75 percent voting threshold once eligible. He understands the potential ramifications.

"The other message is, maybe I'm not a Hall of Fame player, but I get a chance to be a Hall of Fame dad, a Hall of Fame friend," he told TMZ Sports.

Rodriguez's playing career ended in August 2016. He currently works as a baseball analyst for ESPN.