Alex Rodriguez does not need another hit to fortify his Hall of Fame credentials, but his suspension by Major League Baseball over PEDs likely makes his candidacy a long shot at least eight years from now if he finishes the remaining three years of his contract with the Yankees.
"I would expect that he'll be shunned even that far down the road by the same people that continue to resist voting for [Barry] Bonds and [Roger] Clemens in particular," Hall of Fame voter Peter Pascarelli said. "And I suspect he'll get that treatment or worse. I really don't expect him to get elected.
"From a purely statistical or non-off-the-field value, the guy should be a Hall of Famer. I don't think he's going to be, just like I don't think Bonds or Clemens will ever get elected. Particularly in A-Rod's case, I think the public humiliation that he's put upon himself so many different times puts him even more remotely likely for the Hall of Fame than the other guys."
Tracy Ringolsby, a columnist for mlb.com, is undecided. "The one thing about Clemens and Bonds is that they were never suspended," he said. "But if [A-Rod is] allowed to come back and allowed to play, then I'd have to give it serious consideration.
"My attitude is that if players clear the screening committee, if players are put on the ballot, then they've been given clearance that they're worthy of Hall of Fame consideration. I don't know that it's my position to create the rules as to whether they are eligible for the Hall of Fame. They obviously are eligible or they wouldn't be on the ballot."
David Lennon, former chairman of the Baseball Writers' Association's New York chapter and Newsday's national baseball reporter, has voted for Bonds and Clemens but said A-Rod likely will not get his vote.
"There was a time Alex Rodriguez was on track for baseball immortality, a day the Yankees even planned for by adding a bonus clause for when he passed Barry Bonds' 762-homer mark," Lennon said. "But now, after a year-long suspension due to his Biogenesis involvement, A-Rod's career is defined by infamy -- and that's why he won't receive my Hall of Fame vote.
"Both Bonds and Roger Clemens have been on my ballot since they first became eligible -- despite their links to PEDs -- as two of the greatest players in the game's history. They shouldn't be singled out for persecution for doing it during the Steroid Era, when many of their contemporaries likely used PEDs to some degree but were never outed for it.
"The difference with Rodriguez? Unlike those two, A-Rod was severely disciplined by Major League Baseball after testing was implemented -- with a record suspension -- and was constantly at war with both MLB and the Yankees. That is enough to doom his candidacy for Cooperstown in my mind."
Outgoing baseball commissioner Bud Selig has said that in terms of the official record book, his office will not alter the achievements of players who are suspected of taking PEDs. Incoming commissioner Rob Manfred is expected to follow suit. And the record-keepers are in full agreement.
Steve Hirdt, executive vice president of the Elias Sports Bureau, the official record-keeper for MLB, said: "The fact of the matter is that a lot of people have already placed, if you want to call it, a mental asterisk beside the records of certain players. That's not for us to do in any official manner."
Sean Forman of the statistical service used by the Hall of Fame, baseball.reference.com, added: "My view and the company's view is that we record solely what happened on the field. In terms of altering the records of what happened on the field or listing them differently for different players, there's absolutely no chance we would ever consider doing that."
The Hall of Fame has an exhibit called "Today's Game," which has language posted "regarding performance-enhancing substances and the accomplishments that may be reflected through artifacts by those who may have either admitted to or been suspected of use," said Brad Horn, vice president of communications and education. Horn said there also is an education center outlining the dangers of PEDs.