Alex Rodriguez would like to be enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame someday, but he knows his chances are slim if Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens remain locked out.
In an interview on ESPN on Wednesday, the retired baseball great broke down why he’s hoping the Baseball Writers’ Assn. will one day open Cooperstown’s doors to Bonds and Clemens.
"Of course I want them to get in, because that would mean that I have an opportunity to get in one day," Rodriguez said.
The performance-enhancing drug scandals that rocked baseball over the last two decades have led to countless debates over who deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.
Bonds and Clemens, who are suspected of using PEDs during the careers, each collected a few more votes this year than they did in 2018. Votes from Clemens increased from 57.3% to 59.5% this year and Bonds’ rose from 56.4% to 59.1%. Still, they’re both well shy of the 75% of votes they need from baseball writers to be inducted.
Statistically, Rodriguez would be a lock for the Hall of Fame if hadn’t used PEDs during his career. Rodriguez, who admitted he used PEDs, was a 14-time All-Star selection and three-time American League MVP over his 22-year career.
"Look, I pray every day I get a chance to get in," Rodriguez said. "The Hall of Fame is the ultimate place. … I've taken the approach that I think talking about it is best. I've made my mistakes, I've paid huge penalties.
"I would love to get in [to the Hall of Fame], but I understand that I made my own bed. 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."
While Rodriguez understands his chances of making the Hall of Fame could be slim, he says he’d like to see Clemens and Bonds voted in even if it did little to bolster his prospects.
"If you stopped their career at the age of 33 or 34, they were both first ballot and then the noise [about PEDs] started,” Rodriguez said. “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."