• Does Anyone Care About A-Rod’s Milestone HRs?

    Posted by on June 29th, 2010 · Comments (10)

    Via Mark Feinsand today –

    With six more home runs, Alex Rodriguez will become the seventh player in baseball history to reach 600. So why does it seem like nobody cares?

    Rodriguez’s admission last year that he used performance-enhancing drugs surely has something to do with it. The 156 home runs he hit during his three years in Texas may as well be placed on a separate list stamped with a giant asterisk.

    If and when A-Rod hits No. 763 to move past Barry Bonds – and based on the nagging injuries and lack of home run power he’s shown for most of this season, that can no longer be considered a lock – it may very well conclude the most joyless pursuit of a major milestone in sports history.

    When Bonds chased down Hank Aaron in 2007, there was plenty of speculation that he had injected himself with enough drugs to make a professional wrestler blush. But unlike Rodriguez, Bonds never admitted to anything.

    The home fans in San Francisco continued to idolize Bonds in a way the New York fans have never taken to Rodriguez, turning every game into a celebration of San Francisco’s favorite son.

    Will fans be able to put A-Rod’s drug history aside and celebrate his accomplishments? Based on the lack of interest in his pursuit of 600, it’s hard to imagine his quest for 763 being anything other than forced and robotic.

    I’m not sure if he’s correct or not here, but, I give Feinsand all the credit in the world for not being afraid to express an opinion such as this one when he’s covering the team on a daily basis. It’s hard, at least for me, not to respect that type of conviction.

    Comments on Does Anyone Care About A-Rod’s Milestone HRs?

    1. clintfsu813
      June 29th, 2010 | 11:48 am

      When Arod gets to 599, everyone will take notice. As/IF he gets close to the others NY will celebrate it. Take it to the bank.

    2. Raf
      June 29th, 2010 | 11:58 am

      The SF fans have loved Bonds since he signed with the team after the 1992 season. Whether Bonds did or didn’t admit to anything isn’t particularly relevant, considering the “Game of Shadows” book supposedly documented his use.

    3. June 29th, 2010 | 12:12 pm

      I’m not sure I agree with Mark when he writes “The home fans in San Francisco continued to idolize Bonds in a way the New York fans have never taken to Rodriguez.”

      “Never” may be the wrong word. IMHO, A-Rod was a god in Yankeeland during 2007. Maybe it didn’t start out that way, out of the chute, in ’07? But, it didn’t take long for him to feel the fans’ love that year. I recall going to games and hearing Alex cheered louder than they cheered Jeter.

      But, then came the lousy 2007 ALDS for A-Rod, followed by the opt-out during the World Series, followed by a 2008 that didn’t match 2007, followed by the PED mess in the Spring of ’09.

      That was a lot – and it took away from that ’07 love…and not even the 2009 post-season has put him back to wear he was, in the fans hearts, back in 2007.

      Don’t get me wrong, A-Rod is in a much better place, in the Yankees fans eyes, now, than he was…but, it’s not like it was in the summer of ’07.

    4. MJ Recanati
      June 29th, 2010 | 12:33 pm

      @ Raf:
      Agreed. SF considered Bonds a native son and we should all remember that Bonds signed at a time when the Giants were rumored to be sold to an ownership group that wanted to move the team to Tampa. Instead, the Giants were bought by a local investor who paid a large sum (for the time) to bring one of the game’s best players to the city where he grew up.

    5. Raf
      June 29th, 2010 | 12:42 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      “Never” may be the wrong word. IMHO, A-Rod was a god in Yankeeland during 2007.

      Yeah, but Rodriguez has been a Yankee since 2004.

      Bonds showed up, he as a native son, as MJ mentioned, with the backing of father Bobby and Godfather Willie Mays. Bonds has had his issues in the postseason as well. Bonds has had his issues with the media as well. He may not have opted out, like Rodriguez did, but I’d be willing to wager that Bonds was a bigger distraction than Rodriguez could ever be.

      Giants fans have been a lot more consistent with Bonds than Yankees fans have been with Rodriguez.

    6. throwstrikes
      June 29th, 2010 | 12:55 pm

      If asked, I bet Feinsand would say he didn’t give an opinion in that story, he just laid out facts. That you saw an opinion in it shows it was written with bias and as a beat writer he is suppsoed to stick to facts and save opinions for columnists and his blog.

      Wondering how fans are going to react to something years from happening and about A-Rod is what a lazy writer does on a Yankee off day.

      When he gets to 599 people will stay in their seats to watch his at bats because whether they want to admit it or not, and whether they cheer or boo, they want to know they saw it happen.

    7. Garcia
      June 29th, 2010 | 1:51 pm

      I think it’ll get interesting the closer we get to 600 and “The Record”, I’m sure we’ll all be tuned in somehow. Regardless of the PED cloud or not, it’s still a record; to ask if “anyone cares” is a pretty strong statement.

      I doubt a sox fan would care all that much, but I think I’ll care. It’s history, you don’t want to see history? What are they going to do, put a silly asterisk (*) alongside his name? Doubt it.

      If we care about Jeter’s and Mo’s personal milestones then, why wouldn’t we care for A-Rod’s? I’m on record as saying he may not be favorite player on the Yankees, but he’s no Albert Belle or Carl Everett. I may have issues with some of the odd decisions A-Rod has made in the past, but he’s not the worse guy in the world to root for when it comes to achieving a personal milestone.

    8. June 29th, 2010 | 2:29 pm

      Garcia wrote:

      I may have issues with some of the odd decisions A-Rod has made in the past, but he’s not the worse guy in the world to root for when it comes to achieving a personal milestone.

      That is the vexing thing with A-Rod. On one side, he’s got some things going on that are a huge turn-off. But, on the other side, he doesn’t dog it on the field, is not a hot head, or someone who jakes it.

      There’s no Manny Rammirez, Albert Belle or Carl Pavano in Alex. But, there is some Joe Pepitone, Barry Bonds and Rube Waddell.

    9. tcumbie
      June 29th, 2010 | 3:46 pm

      I think ALL stats for players KNOWN to have used PEDs ought to be deleted. Erased. End of story.

      I know, problem is there are a bunch that are unknown, but it can’t be helped. It CAN be helped that known cheaters get to keep the spoils.

    10. June 29th, 2010 | 8:39 pm

      @ Steve Lombardi:
      Gotta disagree with you partially here. While A-Rod will never get the adoration Jeter does, I think he’s in a very good place with the fans right now. The 2009 playoffs bought him a buddy pass from a good portion of the fan base. That, combined with Torre not around stirring the pot, has taken some negative attention away from him.

      In 2007, there was always the undercurrent of “can he do it in the postseason”? That’s gone now.

      Now, as for the home run chase itself, that was much more exciting in 2007 when he was going for 500. I grant you that point.

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