* Those were the days: Hall of Famers Paul Molitor and Robbie Alomar surround the 1993 World Series trophy after Joe Carter hit his game-winning, three-run homer in Game 6 at the SkyDome. .... Sign up for CBN Newsletter
By Bob Elliott
Is suspended New York Yankee third baseman Alex Rodriguez a Hall of Famer?
“No,” said Hall of Famer Paul Molitor.
“I don’t think he was overly targeted by Major League Baseball,” Molitor said Saturday night. “I don’t think they would impose such a severe suspension.
“I know that there was not a positive drug test, but there was just cause. So, no, I don’t think he belongs.”
Molitor was in Woodbridge to speak at the annual Ontario Blue Jays Hall of Fame banquet as the team inducted its third class.
“I don’t envy the job that the voters have,” said Molitor, inducted 10 years ago along with closer Dennis Eckersley. “Regardless of where (Rodriguez’s) career was going, from the information I’ve been exposed to and from what I have read, I don’t think he will get in ... but hey Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds get roughly 30% of the vote.”
There was a time when many anti-Bonds fans waited for the day Rodriguez would wrest the home run title from Bonds.
It wouldn’t be Hank Aaron, an honourable man of grace, but Rodriguez would be better than Bonds some fans reasoned. Rodriguez has 654 homers at the time of his 211-game suspension -- since reduced to 162 games by arbitrator Fredric Horowitz.
Rodriguez’s legal team has sued MLB and the Players Association in federal court in Manhattan in an effort to lift his 162-game suspension in connection with the Biogenesis doping scandal.
When the youngest player in major-league history to reach both 500 and 600 home runs marks signed a new deal in 2007, the Yankees bought into the home run chase and all that that entails: marketing and expected TV ratings. The Yanks agreed to a clause paying Rodriguez $6 million each for reaching home run plateaus of 660, 714, 755 and tying and breaking major league home run record (762, held by Bonds).
This year’s Ontario Blue Jays class consisted of Chicago Cubs catcher George Kottaras, right-hander John Ogiltree and Brampton first baseman Matt Logan, who both player in the Toronto Blue Jays minor-league system. Kottaras played for Danny Bleiwas, while Logan and Ogiltree played for coach Gary Wilson.
Both Logan and Ogiltree gave heart-felt speeches. A taped message from Kottaras couldn't be played due to technical difficulties.
This was the second banquet in as many nights for Molitor as he attended the Harmon Killebrew Hospice Home for Kids Fund, Children’s Lighthouse in Minneapolis on Friday.
Twins greats Rod Carew, Tony Oliva, Jack Morris and Molitor hosted the fund raiser along with the wife of the late Hall of Famer.
“I was hoping Jack would get the 75%,” said Molitor of his former Blue Jays teammate and fellow St. Paul native who fell short in his 15th and final year on the writer’s ballot. “A few people (Morris was 78 votes shy) didn’t vote for him. As great as the Hall of Fame is there are some inconsistencies, but they usually get it right.
“I’m sorry that Jack will have to wait.”
Morris can be considered again in three years if he is selected to the Expansion Era ballot.
“Jack told me that he was relieved that it was over,” Molitor said. “He has handled it well. I thought he belonged. All those complete games (175), all those games he pitched into the seventh or eighth. You wouldn’t see that nowadays. He saved the bullpen.”
Molitor’s messages to teenagers was one of wisdom: “Having a goal to win is fine, but the purpose should be about bigger things: like work ethic, embracing adversity.”
Molitor is back with the Twins this season as a base-running and infield defence coach under manager Ron Gardenhire.
So plenty of shifts?
“Ahh,” said Molitor as he scrunched his face. “I’m studying it right now. I don’t think you will see extreme shifts. Are you better off to have David Ortiz try to hit a single to left then hit one out?”
The Ontario Blue awards went to:
MVP: Brampton’s Tony Hrynkiw, who hit a two-out, two-strike, two-run home run in seventh inning against California in Game 1 of at Mickey Mantle World Series.
Pitcher of the Year: Barrie’s Cole White, named top pitcher at the Mickey Mantle World Series.
Coach of the Year: Mississauga’s Sean Travers.
Alumni award (pro): Whitby’s Evan Grills of the Houston Astros.
Alumni award (college): Peterborough’s Mike Reeves of Florida Gulf Coast University.
Dedication and Perseverance: Mississauga’s Ryan White who is attending Rose State College in Oklahoma.