Thursday, August 5, 2010

600 (no asterisk, thanks)

Alex Rodriguez
hit his 600th home run on Thursday August 4th, exactly 3 years to the day he hit his 500th four-bagger.

He did it at home, in front of the Yankee Stadium faithful, a 2-run blast in the first inning that was also the winning run in a 5-1 victory vs the Toronto Blue Jays. A-Rod becomes the 7th player in Major League history to reach this milestone and at age 35 the youngest ever.

His admission of steroid use in the first three years of the previous decade will always be brought up whenever his career and individual stats, and by extension his Hall of Fame credentials, are discussed. But as a fan of the player in question, I acknowledge this transgression but refuse to chime in with the haters and the hypocrites: folks that would leave their current jobs for a $100/wk pay raise elsewhere in a heartbeat, yet cry greed when an athlete wants to take advantage of their small window of opportunity to make money in their given profession before they are kicked to the curb (Bo Jackson, anyone?); or the purists who exalt players from a gloried past but look the other way when the topic of controlled substances taken by these legends of yesteryear is referenced. (Or when in many cases, these retired athletes admit they'd likely have taken today's PEDs if they'd had the chance.) In any event, let's scour the gyms of America and find the most steroid-pumped individuals, give 'em a bat, and see if they can hit 100 HRs against major league pitching, let alone 600.

So today I come not to bury Alex but to praise him--heh, heh--and wish him many HRs to come. May they all be in The Bronx and with A-Rod wearing pinstripes.

[photo AP/Kathy Willens via River Ave Blues]

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