Carlos Beltran has the numbers, but those so-called exit polls indicate he won’t obtain the majority of votes from the Baseball Writers Association of America for induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2023. Reportedly there are five others eligible who have compiled more votes with the official announcement coming Tuesday.
Beltran has the numbers indicated here: The only switch hitter in baseball history with 2,725 hits, 435 home runs, and 312 stolen bases. Yet the nine-time All-Star, and three-time Gold Glove and Silver Slugger winner is tarnished because of a sign-stealing cheating scandal.
Despite never getting a suspension from MLB as the lone player implicated in that 2017 Houston Astros scandal that rocked baseball, Beltran was appointed manager of the NY Mets and was readily dismissed. Regardless, he is considered one of the all-time baseball greats from Puerto Rico.
Beltran would get my vote if I had one. Again, I view this as an issue and to further a cause to open the doors at Cooperstown for Pete Rose. The All-time baseball leader in hits, Rose has never been forgiven for placing illegal bets as an active player for the Reds.
But this Hall of Fame endorsement for Carlos Beltran is different than the steroid era of players who have Hall of Fame numbers, their punishment stems from not having their names enshrined up in Cooperstown, New York.
They were caught red handed and their denials, or those who continue to vouch for their Hall of Fame enshrinement, are not credible enough to warrant a case of having the numbers prior to the use of using illegal PED’s, as the hierarchy in charge continued to allow the cheating because home runs developed into revenue.
But they allowed a rampant use of illegal steroid abusers to continue hitting home runs at epic proportions. They listened to Congressional hearings, read a Mitchell Report, and later leveled a suspension to Alex Rodriguez, a main culprit, who never should or will get that privileged call to the Hall of Fame.
Beltran won’t have his name called as the results are announced Tuesday, because he and others will be denied the 75 percent of the vote that is needed for induction.
They won’t forgive this sign stealing scandal, rightfully a choice of those that put their signature at the bottom of their ballots. And the debate about Carlos Beltran will linger on in the years ahead until his eligibility runs its course.
On these pages, only a few months ago, I provided an opinion. I wrote about a player hitting 500 home runs, or a pitcher compiling 300 career wins as an automatic cinch for first ballot consideration. But there are circumstances with 500 home run hitters having the stigma as being a part of a steroid era that gave baseball a dark eye.
And the circumstances of pitcher Roger Clemens, a sure first ballot Hall of Famer, but surrounded with a dark cloud of steroid allegations and denials, though the check marks continue to be placed near his name. As do the check marks continue to be placed near the name of Barry Bonds, the supposed all time home run king.
Need I again mention the Pete Rose saga, different in some respects to the first time eligibility of Carlos Beltran, though will be compared to a punishment of the long time quest to enshrine Pete Rose. But those who sign their names next to a Hall of Fame ballot will also perceive Beltran as a cheat.
Yet baseball can be so contradictory. Pete Rose was never even given a chance to be on a ballot or have a chance with a veterans committee vote or another because he was perceived as being detrimental to the game. In an era of MLB’s expanded interests that feature a proliferation of gambling sites that are displayed at ballparks, on the video boards, and with revenue commercial time in between innings, or scrolled at the bottom of television screens, this is difficult to comprehend.
But the voters Tuesday will ignore and bypass Carlos Beltran, again a Pete Rose stigma of punishment and Hall of Fame numbers on the field that apparently don’t matter to those with the honor of signing their name to the ballot.
Though, continuing to deny the numbers and history that Rose accomplished on the field is not right, And it’s not proper to ignore the numbers of Carlos Beltran, implicated and punished with hopes that as time moves on that call to the Hall of Fame will come.
But I have my theories, and can also not forgive the steroid cheats that needed body enhancement support to supplement numbers that would lead to huge contracts, and was that era not all about greed and money for the owners and players?
So, I can understand colleagues that deny Carlos Beltran a vote for Hall of Fame enshrinement, they, too, with their reasons of cheating on the field or in the dugout where it all mattered, as many say was a bogus World Series championship for the Astros.
Though the numbers here are credible. And the case for Carlos Beltran is viable.
Rich Mancuso: Twitter@Ring786 Facebook.com Watch “Sports with Rich” live on Tuesday Nights at 8pm EST on The SLG Network/Youtube with Robert Rizzo Available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify under The SLG Network.