|Alex Rodriguez's off-the-field antics often|
draw more attention than he'd like.
I suspect this vote against A-Rod has little to do with on-field accomplishments, or even use of PEDs. It seems to me A-Rod's behavior hasn't helped him gain his colleagues' esteem: off the field he often comes across as disingenuous; on the field he does off things like trying to slap the ball out of a fielder's glove.
The reaction of the players parallels that of Hall of Fame voters. Players who the press didn't like -- Jim Rice, of the Boston Red Sox, comes to mind -- often have trouble getting elected. Other players, who the press portrayed as likable, have smoother paths to the Hall. Kirby Puckett, of the Minnesota Twins, who some thought didn't measure up to the honor, comes to mind.
Rice was a top slugger for a dozen years. He played on good teams. But many reporters didn't like him. So, like the SI poll of players, the Hall of Fame vote comes down to a popularity contest.
Whether it's personal dislike, antipathy toward the Yankees or just the natural impulse to knock the king of the hill, I think the players got this one wrong.
Now, Joba Chamberlain is another story ...