A-Rod /Big Papi Hall of Fame- Merit or Popularity Contest ?

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Now that it is Hall of Fame time, the question has to be asked…will the candidates be voted in based on merit or will the induction into the Hall be a popularity contest?

On Tuesday January 25,2022, Alex Rodriguez and David Ortiz will appear on the ballot for the first time.

This year the writers will be faced with a very unique situation involving three high profile “Steroid Era” ballplayers…..Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez and David Ortiz.

Regardless of which players “got caught” all three ballplayers are have been linked to P.E.D use.

This January marks the final year of eligibility for Barry Bonds, and we feel, at baseballsgreatesthitters.com,

it would be a travesty and disgrace if either A-Rod or Big Papi were to receive more votes than Barry Bonds.

We have to take a look at Alex “A-Rod” Rodriquez and David “Big Papi”Ortiz.

Both player’s  careers took place during the Steroid Era, Part II. Comparatively speaking,baseballsgreatesthitters.com has A-Rod as the number 15 all time hitter with Big Papi weighing in at the 53rd slot.

When the numbers are scrutinized, it is readily apparent that A-Rod tops Big Papi in every category. While baseballsgreatesthitters.com deals strictly in hitting, using the “Five Tool Player” as a guide confirms it was no contest.

A-Rod was a stronger power hitter, hit for a higher batting average, had a an impressive throwing arm and ran the bases extremely well. Additionally, A-Rod has won the MVP three times, (2003,2005,2007) while Big Papi has never won the coveted award.

A quick look at the numbers:

A-Rod                                                         Big Papi

Runs Scored: # 8  2,021                              # 91  1,419

Home Runs:   # 4   696                                # 17  541

RBIs:               # 4  2,086                              # 23  1,768

Finally, A-Rod won five home run titles compared to David Ortiz with one.

TIMING IS EVERYTHING…..

At the peak of his career, Alex Rodriquez was traded to the NY Yankees. The long storied and heated rivalry between the Yankees and Red Sox was at its peak when the teams met in the American League Championship Series. The year 2004 marked the first time in baseball history that a team came back from a 3-0 deficit, when the Red Sox won the ALCS and then swept the Cardinals in the World Series.

The baseball world watched with great anticipation, however, A-Rod did not perform up to expectations. He hit below average, finishing with .258 average, while collecting two home runs and only five RBIs. Comparatively speaking, Big Papi was voted the ALCS MVP, had countless clutch hits, including three home runs and 11 RBIs for a .387 average.

THE SHADOW OF PED….

There is no doubt both players are linked to PED, though clearly A-Rod garnered the most attention.

It is an interesting study when Ortiz’s final season is closely examined. At the age of 40 (2016), Big Papi had one of the best seasons of his career…a 315 batting average, (29 points above his career average) of .286, his on base percentage was .401, 21 points higher than his career mark of .380, and had a .620 slugging percentage, 68 points higher than his career mark of .552. He also had 38 home runs and 127 RBIs, and led the Major Leagues in doubles with a career high of 48.

Since beginning our baseball research in 1985, it is easy to see that from 1901 to the present day, every era has had its share great players and knowledgeable fans.  That said, some fans define greatness by the

“Number of Rings He Has”.. but, if one reviews the greats across time, you will see that Ted Williams, Mike Trout, Ernie Banks, Barry Bonds and Ken Griffey, Jr never won a World Series Ring. Other legends of the

game Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Mike Schmidt and Miguel Cabrera have one championship each.

In just a matter of weeks, the Hall of Fame class will be announced. Merit or Popularity… time will tell.

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