Fans outside the National Baseball of Fame weighed in on various topics surrounding the suspension of New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez by Major League Baseball on Monday.
“Why did they take this long?” asked Richard Csaplar, of Needham, Mass., a Red Sox fan visiting the Hall on Monday with his two grandsons.
Truth is, it’ll take quite a bit longer to get Rodriguez off the field. Though MLB imposed a 211-game suspension on the man with 647 career home runs, he still made his season debut with the Yankees on Monday against the host Chicago White Sox. Rodriguez will appeal the suspension, a move that in all likelihood guarantees he’ll play the remainder of 2013 season.
“I guess I’d have to say it’s deserved,” said Rob Kelly, a Mets fan from Hoboken, N.J., visiting with his nephews.
Rodriguez’s suspension stems from his alleged involvement with the defunct anti-aging clinic Biogenesis. The penalty, assuming Rodriguez’s appeal fails, will keep Rodriguez off the field throughout the 2014 season. Rodriguez, 38, is accused of using and possessing performance enhancing drugs, and obstructing MLB’s investigation of Biogenesis.
“He’s like anybody else, if he did bad he gets suspended,” said Jack Hogerman, a Twins fan from Rochester who came to Cooperstown to see his son Trevor play baseball.
Yankees fan Jackie Buggy of Dutchess County said: “I think he deserves whatever they give him.”
Twelve other players, including the Mets’ Jordany Valdespin, accepted 50-game suspensions Monday that will run through the end of the regular season.
The massive suspensions handed down Monday is one reason Massachusetts resident Jim Wood said Rodriguez shouldn’t be singled out.
“I’ve got mixed emotions,” said Wood, a Red Sox fan. “They all used them.”
Added Kelly: “I just feel like everybody’s piling on.”
There appeared to be widespread agreement that Rodriguez’s chances of earning election into the Hall of Fame are all but over.
“Not when they’ve been holding out on all the others,” Csaplar said in reference to other stars such as Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire, all of whom were suspected of using performance-enhancing drugs during their careers and haven’t earned election into the Hall.
Added Fresno, Calif., resident Michael Walls, “I think the overall view of his character is bad.”
Brian Butler, a Yankees fan from Hampton, N.J., likened Rodriguez’s downfall to an American tragedy.
“His talent deserves (election into Hall of Fame), but rules are rules,” Butler said.
The prospect of anyone from the steroids era getting into the Hall of Fame was viewed with skepticism.
“It’s so hard to tell,” Hogerman said. “I wouldn’t like to see it happen.”
“It’s going to be very difficult,” said Butler, adding that baseball might be more forgiving years down the line.
Walls said when it comes to election into the Hall, the same rules should apply to everyone on drug use.
“It has to be one or the other,” he said, adding that all players who used performance enhancing drugs should be considered for the Hall or none.