Members of the Hall of Fame have historically ignored players from the Steroid Era.

Members of the Hall of Fame have historically ignored players from the Steroid Era.

Members of the Hall of Fame have historically ignored players from the Steroid Era. Like the previous ten elections, this year’s Baseball Hall of Fame election presents voters with an awkward opportunity to pass moral judgment, in this case, on Carlos Beltrán.

Unlike Barry Bonds and Alex Rodriguez, Beltrán has never been linked to steroid use and can’t be shown to have used them. He hasn’t made waves by offending the public’s sensibilities as Curt Schilling or Pete Rose did by gambling on baseball. Beltrán was one of the most revered players of his era and was widely viewed as a surefire manager even before his playing days concluded with the Houston Astros and a World Series title in 2017.

But he’s the first of the 2017 Astros tainted by the sign-theft issue that continues to haunt the team and prevents any of its players from being elected to the Hall of Fame. Sadly, he is not alone.

This is from the past: the Astros’ doping in baseball was widely known.

Read more: No options above can win the Hall of Fame vote.

Beltrán first played down his involvement in the scam when the Athletic reported that the Astros had utilized cameras to steal signs during the 2017 season. Still, MLB’s inquiry ultimately concluded that he had helped devise the operation. In November 2019, after being named manager of the Mets, he told the New York Post that he was unaware that cameras were installed in the clubhouse. Even before he had time to draught a roster, he was sacked by the Mets when MLB announced its findings.

There were others like him. Despite being suspended for a year for his participation in the scheme, Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora was not fired and is still with the team. AJ Hinch was let go by the Astros and had been managing the Tigers; he signed with the team before the 2021 season. Even though Jose Altuve will have a solid Hall of Fame case by the time he’s done, he continues to get booed at every stop. The controversy also impacts Alex Bregman, a third baseman, and Carlos Correa, a shortstop with Hall of Fame potential.

Beltrán is the only baseball player whose career trajectory has stumbled so much. Despite his lack of management experience, he will continue contributing to YES Network’s coverage of New York Yankees games in 2023. The problem, of course, is that Beltrán was already widely recognized as a player worthy of induction into the Hall of Fame.

Beltrán did not receive the necessary 75% of votes to be elected to the Hall of Fame this year, according to an unofficial count of Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballots gathered by Ryan Thibodaux late Monday afternoon. Beltrán would require votes for more than 90% of the ballots not yet known to make it, according to Thibodaux’s tracker, which accounted for roughly 50% of all expected votes. We don’t think he’ll be one of the lucky few who make the team.

Journalists from the Washington Post who meet the eligibility requirements for the BBWAA are not allowed to vote for the Hall of Fame. On Tuesday, we will learn the outcome of the vote.

In 2016, Jeff Kent, a controversial former San Francisco Giants second baseman known for his fiery demeanor rather than any involvement in controversy, received support from 33% of voters. If he is not elected this year, he will be taken off the ballot and have to try to win over the Hall of Fame’s era committees, which are made up of executives, journalists, and former players, for consideration.

Fred McGriff is officially inducted; Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens remain overlooked.

Former Philadelphia Phillies and St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Scott Rolen will be cut this year if he can increase the 63% voting he received in 2014. Similar speculation surrounds former Colorado Rockies first baseman Todd Helton, whose name was selected on 52% of ballots in 2022. Although it is not usually fair to compare Hall of Fame nominees across positions, Beltrán holds his own against his contemporaries. Neither has accumulated as many FanGraphs Wins Above Replacements as he has. None came close to Beltrán’s 435 in his 60 career home homers.

When pitted against other players in the same position, Beltrán holds its own. In the last 100 years, only six other midfielders have accumulated more FanGraphs WAR than Beltrán. Except for Mike Trout, who is still playing, all of them are Hall of Famers. Only four center fielders in MLB history have had a higher slugging or on-base percentage in this time frame. The four of them are also all immortalized in the Hall of Fame.

He was also a regular contributor in the postseason, with five different teams benefiting from his services in October. In 65 career postseason games, he hit.307 with an OPS+ of 1.021.

There have been 182 players who have stolen at least 200 bases in the last 75 years, or since Jackie Robinson began integrating the major leagues. Beltrán had a greater success rate than anyone else in this category, stealing 86.4 percent of the bases he attempted.

Beltrán also made a name for himself as one of the most dependable defensive midfielders in an era that didn’t exactly take care of them. They gave him three golden gloves. He ranks fourth all-time among assistant outfielders and eighth all-time among middle infielders.

Nine times, he joined an elite group of players that only 90 others in history can claim. Of those 90 players, 21 still need to be added to Cooperstown. There are seven that are nearly done but have yet to quit there. Additionally to Beltrán, Gary Sheffield is a candidate this year. Six have been involved in some performance-enhancing drug scandals, including Bonds, Rose, Rodriguez, and Roger Clemens.

As this article from the archives asks, is it time baseball to forgive and forget when the Astros returned to the World Series in 2021? nope

It’s unclear how much Beltrán’s alleged involvement in the Astros’ cheating plot contributed to his disappointing performance last season. Even though some authors justify their votes in public forums, the vast majority don’t. Also, Beltrán has yet to reach the milestones that would make him an automatic inductee into Cooperstown, such as 500 home runs, 3,000 hits, or an absurd amount of World Series championships. His early run for office is just the first of many to force voters to think about the 2017 Astros and their part in one of baseball’s most high-profile cheating scandals.

There will be plenty of time for voters to think about his campaign, whatever the outcome on Tuesday because Thibodaux has gotten far more than the 5 percent of votes needed to stay on the ballot. But whether he can get the necessary 75% is a trickier issue, as it requires voters to consider that awkward Astros variable alongside the otherwise clean resume it tainted.

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