Alex Rodriguez acknowledged Wednesday that enshrining Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds into the Baseball Hall of Fame would make it easier for him to get into Cooperstown.
“Of course I want them to get in, because that would mean that I have an opportunity to get in one day,” Rodriguez said during an interview on ESPN’s First Take, one day after Bonds and Clemens fell short of induction with the Class of 2019.
The remarkable accomplishments of Clemens and Bonds have been tainted by the strong speculation they used performance-enhancing drugs, and Rodriguez admitted making mistakes with PEDs in his career.
A 14-time All-Star and three-time MVP, Rodriguez retired after the 2016 season with 696 home runs and 3,115 hits. His first year on the Hall of Fame ballot will be 2022.
“Look, I pray every day I get a chance to get in,” Rodriguez said. “The Hall of Fame is the ultimate place.
“If you think about Roger and Barry specifically ... If you stopped their career at the age of 33 or 34, they were both first ballot and then the noise [about PEDs] started. For me, it’s just a shame. I am certainly cheering for both of them. I like them both very much. They’re both friends, and I’m in their corner.”
Candidates need 75 percent of the votes from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America to make the Hall of Fame. Clemens, a seven-time Cy Young Award winner, received 59.5 percent this year. Bonds, a seven-time MVP, received 59.1 percent. Both players were in their seventh year of eligibility, meaning they have three years left on the ballot.
Rodriguez, who was suspended for the entire 2014 season, has admitted using PEDs and apologized for his mistakes.
“I would love to get in [to the Hall of Fame], but I understand that I made my own bed,” he said. “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.”
—Field Level Media