Houston Astros: The next sign-stealing casualties

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 19: George Springer #4 of the Houston Astros celebrates as he runs the bases after a home run by Jose Altuve #27 in the ninth inning against the Houston Astros during Game Six of the League Championship Series at Minute Maid Park on October 19, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 19: George Springer #4 of the Houston Astros celebrates as he runs the bases after a home run by Jose Altuve #27 in the ninth inning against the Houston Astros during Game Six of the League Championship Series at Minute Maid Park on October 19, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /
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Carlos Beltran

Nobody’s Hall of Fame resume took a harder hit than Beltran’s. The immediate focus in the week of his separation from the Mets managerial job has been on that action. Longer-term, however, what Beltran really lost was some significant percentage of his Hall of Fame support.

And given that Beltran was never a slam-dunk Hall choice, it is likely to be the decisive percent.

Beltran played for 20 years, capping that career with a fateful summer in Houston in 2017. He compiled a .279 batting average with 439 home runs and a 69.6 WAR. Hall of Fame expert Jay Jaffe puts Beltran’s WAR total almost precisely at the 71.1 average for the 19 center fielders who have been enshrined…and above a dozen of them.

Related Story. Carlos Beltran, meet Wally Backman. light

He would, absent scandal, have been a strong candidate, and very possibly a successful one.

Now, his candidacy is floundering. Randy Miller, a New Jersey-based baseball writer for nj.com, declared in the wake of the Beltran admissions that he will change his vote on that particular candidacy from yes to no based on the admissions. His is almost certainly only the first such declaration.

Miller has been among the group electing not to support the candidacies of players such as Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens whose raw numbers made them sure things but whose reputations were tainted for other reasons. If even a percentage from his philosophical bloc follow his lead – and there’s no reason to believe those voters won’t — Beltran’s Hall candidacy is kaput.