On Tuesday, the Baseball Writers Association of America released their 2019 Hall of Fame voting results. A group of four players were elected — a group that did not include either Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens, both of whom continue to be punished for their links to and suspected usage of performance-enhancing drugs.
One person paying close attention to the sagas of Bonds and Clemens? Former New York Yankees third baseman and current ESPN “Sunday Night Baseball” analyst Alex Rodriguez. Rodriguez — who, unlike Bonds and Clemens, served a PED-related suspension for his part in the Biogenesis scandal — said on First Take Wednesday that he’s rooting for Bonds and Clemens to be inducted in no small part because it would help precipitate his own induction:
“Of course I want them to get in, because that would mean that I have an opportunity to get in one day,” Rodriguez told ESPN’s First Take on Wednesday.
Rodriguez will be eligible for enshrinement come 2022. Were it not for the suspension and other PED-related concerns, he would be a no-doubt first-ballot inductee. He finished his career with 696 home runs, 14 All-Star Game appearances, three MVP Awards, and countless other honors that combine to make him one of the most decorated players in the sport’s history.
Rodriguez still has his detractors, of course. But credit him for some self-awareness — and for taking responsibility for his own actions:
“I would love to get in [to the Hall of Fame], but I understand that I made my own bed. So if I don’t make it to the Hall of Fame, I can live with that. I will be bummed, it would suck and I can’t believe that I put myself in this situation. But if that happens, I have no one to blame but myself.”
That’s more than what Bonds and Clemens have ever said — and heck, it’s more than was ever expected from Rodriguez. Whether or not that proves to be enough to get him into Cooperstown some day … well, we’ll just have to wait and see.
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