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Top Baseball Hall of Fame candidates hampered by shady pasts

Baseball is still dealing with some of the ugliness of its past when it comes to the Hall of Fame. 

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

Another former Yankee with a checkered past, Carlos Beltran, made his debut on the ballot this year and also looks like he will miss the cut. 

As of Monday evening, according to ballot tracker @NotMrTibs, Rodriguez was at 40.0 percent — after 34.3 percent last year — while Beltran was at 55.7, both well short of the 75 percent needed among BBWAA voters, with 46.7 percent of ballots having been publicly revealed. 

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


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

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

During their championship season of 2017, Houston illegally used a video monitor and a garbage can to let hitters in their lineup know what pitch was coming. 

After taking the broadcasting job with YES in March — a job to which he’s scheduled to return to this season — Beltran admitted the Astros did “cross 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 everything played out and the person I am. What happened, everyone knows what happened. It was a team. The fact I was in trouble [as the only player], that’s the hard part. But I’ve got to move forward.” 


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

Colorado Rockies' Todd Helton swings at a pitch from Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Sean Marshall in the first inning of a Major League baseball game in Denver on Sunday, Aug. 12, 2007.
Todd Helton seems likely to gain enshrinement.
AP Photo

On paper, the 45-year-old Beltran would figure to be a lock for Cooperstown, as he has the fourth-most home runs by a switch-hitter in MLB history with 435, trailing only Mickey Mantle, Eddie Murray and Chipper Jones — all Hall of Famers. And his postseason performances are among the best of all time. 

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

Even if no players get voted in Tuesday, there will be player representation in Cooperstown this summer, as Fred McGriff was voted in by the Contemporary Era committee last month.

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