Thursday, August 5, 2010
Will Anyone Ever REALLY Accept A-Rod?
So yesterday Alex Rodriguez hit his 600th career home run to a bit less fanfare than you might have expected.
The crowd cheered loudly and all, but you could almost tell there was a restraint to it all.
There’s a possible number of reasons for this… the lessening of importance that 600 has on history… the history of A-Rod’s grating personality… or the obvious elephant in the room.
Yeah we’re talking about the steroids admission.
I’m not about to get to rehashing that here… but the fcat remains that A-Rod is going to be more heaped with the names such as Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa than he will with Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth and Willie Mays.
It’s not just the steriods thing though (and much as it is a huge part of it). A-Rod has managed to place himself in a weird position where so few people seem to embrace him in the way they do players such as Derek Jeter or Mark Teixeria. For whatever reason people feel the need to demonize him, even with the great clutch postseason he had last year.
I’m not a big fan of Rodriguez, but I do think he is unfairly maligned by the average Yankee fan. However, his steriods admission should play a huge part in how we view his acomplishments. For whatever reason it is, a great player is not loved in the way he expects to be loved and going forward we have to wonder if he’ll ever really be embraced at all.
The pursuit of homerun 763 will be the main focus of the last third of A-Rod’s career and you know the Yankee hype machine will want to overwhelm the baseball fan’s senses with the march towards the largest of sports records… but the question remains if in the end it’ll be the specticle A-Rod and the Yankees imagined when they signed that new contract through 2017.
Just take a look at the backpage to today’s New York Daily News which has A-Rod in his homerun trot with the words “CONGRATS*” Notice that asterik? Well underneath the congrats are the words “To your tainted milestone”
Barring serious injury, you would expect he’ll get there. If he averages about 22 home runs a year between now and 2017 (depending on how many he hits the rest of this season). How important it really is to anyone but A-Rod and the Yankee brass at that point though is questionable.