Baseball’s top Hall of Fame contenders hampered by shady pasts

Baseball still faces some of the ugliness of its Hall of Fame past.

Alex Rodriguez didn’t come close to being elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame last year, his first time on the ballot, and his chances don’t look much better ahead of Tuesday’s announcement.

Another former Yankee with a checkered past, Carlos Beltran, made his ballot debut this year and also appears to be missing the cut.

On Monday evening, according to ballot tracking @NotMrTibs, Rodriguez was at 40.0% – after 34.3% last year – while Beltran was at 55.7, both well below the 75% needed among BBWAA voters, with 46.7% of ballots having been publicly revealed.

Rodriguez’s status is confused by his admitted steroid use, which also kept Barry Bonds out of the Hall of Fame during his 10 years on the ballot.

2023 Baseball Hall of Fame Voting

Beltran was on a Hall of Fame-worthy path until his role in the 2017 Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal was made public in 2019. He then lost his job as Mets manager before returning to the game a year ago in another capacity – as a YES Network Broadcaster.

Beltran was the only player punished for the Astros scandal, as the players were granted immunity for cooperating with MLB’s investigation, but Beltran retired as a player after that season.

During their 2017 championship season, Houston illegally used a video monitor and trash can to inform batters of their upcoming field alignment.

After taking the broadcast job with YES in March — a job he is expected to return to this season — Beltran admitted the Astros had “crossed the line.”

“We all did what we did,” Beltran said. “Looking back today, we were wrong.”

In May, Beltran told The Post regarding his future in the game, “I hope people have seen how I feel about how it all turned out and who I am. What happened, everyone knows what happened. It was a team. The fact that I was in trouble [as the only player], that’s the hardest part. But I have to move on. »

Alex Rodriguez and his girlfriend Jaclyn Cordeiro, in the tunnel under the stands before the game.
Alex Rodriguez’s 2023 Hall of Fame deal doesn’t seem to be going much better than the year before.
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

Todd Helton of the Colorado Rockies swings on a pitch by Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Sean Marshall during the first inning of a Major League baseball game in Denver on Sunday August 12, 2007.
Todd Helton seems likely to be consecrated.
AP Photo

On paper, Beltran, 45, would be a lock for Cooperstown, as he has the fourth-most home runs by a batter in MLB history with 435, behind only Mickey Mantle, Eddie Murray and Chipper Jones – all members of the Hall of Fame. And his playoff performances are among the best ever.

According to @NotMrTibbs, Scott Rolen and Todd Helton have the best chance of being elected, with Helton at 80.0% and Rolen at 79.5%. Billy Wagner was just short at 73.5%.

Although no players are elected on Tuesday, there will be player representation in Cooperstown this summer, as Fred McGriff was elected by the Contemporary Era Committee last month.

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