Congratulations to Bert Blyleven and Robbie Alomar on their election to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Well-deserved in both cases.
Looking at the vote totals for the other candidates, I can't help but look at Rafael Palmeiro's meager 11 percent and wonder what's going to happen when Ivan Rodriguez's name comes up several years from now.
Sure, Palmeiro suffered the ignominy of shaking his finger at lawmakers on Capitol Hill in March 2005, swearing he never, ever used steroids - and then tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs that season. He sat out a 10-game suspension. It was his final season, and before the positive test, Palmeiro likely assumed he's be a first ballot inductee with membership in both the 3,000 hit club and 500 home run club. How could they keep him out?
Well, the positive test killed that prospect, and maybe without it, his inclusion in Jose Canseco's tell-all book would've postponed election anyway. Whatever you may think about Canseco, his book - so far - seems to have been spot-on.
Rodriguez was a part of that Texas Rangers' posse of PED-shooters, according to Canseco. The thing his about career power stats, though, is that they steadily rise up to his MVP season in 1999, and steadily fall thereafter. That doesn't prove anything, one way or the other, though his critics insist his body changed over those years as well.
We tend to talk about Rodriguez as a lock for the Hall of Fame, and maybe he is. However, the other players in Canseco's book all now seem to carry a label that's been nigh impossible to shake.
It won't be any easier for Rodriguez, though if he reaches the 3,000-hit plateau as primarily a catcher - not impossible, but no guarantee - his candidacy will be strengthened tremendously.