Alex Rodriguez needs 36 more homers to reach 500 for his career. It’s very possible that milestone should be reached this season – as it’s pretty accepted to project a 40-HR season for A-Rod in 2007.
Thinking about this leads to some questions for me.
How should the Yankees handle career homerun # 500 for Alex should it come at the Stadium? Should they just let the fans react to it, with an announcement on the scoreboard? Or, is this cause for a stop the game, have a moment on the field thing – since there’s a good chance that A-Rod would be the youngest player to reach 500 homers?
At this time, I think it makes more sense to just let the fans react, etc. It’s not going to help Alex’s image to stop the game and stick a microphone in front of him at that moment.
Secondly, is the race to 500 a good thing for the Yankees in 2007? You know that Alex is going to start to press when he hits #499. Anyone who thinks different has not been watching A-Rod over the past year. If it’s a close race for the A.L. East, and it’s late in the season, do the Yankees really need Rodriguez jumping out at every pitch trying to hit his 500th homer? Won’t that just lead to more booing and more pressing?
It will be interesting to see if these questions become a big deal for the Yankees and A-Rod this season. I think it’s more likely that they will – rather than they do not.