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Why wasn’t Alex Rodriguez voted into the Hall of Fame?

David Ortiz was the only player elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2022. Why is Alex Rodriguez still on the outside looking in?

Pictured in this screengrab: Former baseball player Alex Rodriguez during an interview on January 18, 2021 — Photo By: NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

The National Baseball Hall of Fame announced the class of 2022 and former Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz is the only player to secure the minimum 75% of the BBWAA vote. Ortiz secured 77.9% of the total and will be inducted later this year.

The baseball writers once again elected to note vote for Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens. This was the tenth ballot for both players and due to a rule change several years back, that drops them off the BBWAA ballot moving forward. They can still get in through the Modern Baseball Committee, but they will continue waiting.

This year also marked the first year Alex Rodriguez was eligible to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. He received 34.3% of the vote on his first time through, which puts him well short of the 75% necessary. By comparison, Bonds’ lowest total was 34.7% in his second year (2014) while Clemens’ lowest total was 35.4%, which was also in his second year (2014).

There has been plenty of controversy regarding whether or not players who have tested positive for steroids should be eligible for Hall of Fame enshrinement. Rodriguez admitted to using PEDS from 2001 to 20003 and later received a full-season suspension which sidelined him in 2014. He retired fourth all-time with 696 home runs and generally was viewed as one of the best players of his generation.

However, like Clemens and Bonds, it would appear the media is going to hold his steroid use against him. There are arguments to be made around who did what when, and what was considered acceptable at different times. While Bonds and Clemens are off the ballot and Rodriguez seems unlikely to make enough headway to get into Cooperstown, the newly elected Ortiz himself tested positive for PEDs early in his career. His information was leaked as part of what was supposed to be an anonymous process, but it doesn’t change the fact that one could raise questions around PEDs with Big Papi.

The whole situation is mostly just a mess.