While listening to a broadcast of the Yankees-Braves game this week, one of the Braves announcers was talking about Alex Rodriguez and how he believes the public will receive his breaking of the home run record.
His feelings were along the same lines as mine saying he’ll be disgusted and doesn’t believe anyone will ever recognize him as the home run king, just as no one recognizes Barry Bonds’ number of home runs (I don’t even know what it is, and I don’t care to look it up because it’s meaningless).
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If you follow me on Twitter, then you probably already know how much I hate that A-Rod (A-Roid) is still allowed to play this game. When I look at him, I see a cancer that is still hanging over Major League Baseball from an era that we all need to forget and put in the past.
A-Rod, to me, is that final link to the steroid era, and the sooner he retires, the sooner we can move on from a dark past and start to love the clean game that many players are involved in today.
After that, you can probably imagine what my thoughts will be when he eventually passes Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron. But there may actually be some out there who believe he deserves to be regarded as the greatest home run hitter of all time.
He currently sits at 639, which is fifth all time, and is still 116 away from Aaron, who is still regarded by many as the leader for most career home runs. He’ll probably still need to play four more years to reach him.
But here is my problem with players from the steroid era, everyone always says that these players (Bonds, Roger Clemens, A-Rod) were all great players even before they took steroids. While that may be the case, do you guys not find it kind of odd that almost every great player from the steroid-era took steroids?
I think these drugs may have been a bit more effective than we seem to think. If Bonds doesn’t take those drugs, does he break the single season home run record? Does he go on to pass Aaron? Does Mark McGwire rack up all those home runs without a little help?
I think if we all take our blinders off, we’ll realize that these guys were all helped by something other than God-given talent, and if it wasn’t for this enhancement, they wouldn’t have been as great as they were. People can make all the excuses they want, but these players cheated and deserve no credit for achievements that weren’t generated on natural ability.
My personal belief is any player found to have cheated in this great sport should be banished from the game after their first offense. It’s a privilege to play this game. These athletes are given the opportunity to make millions of dollars, and by cheating, they block the way for other players who play the game the right way to do the same.
When, or if, A-Rod breaks the home run record, I’ll watch, just like I did with Bonds. But I’ll watch in anguish as part of a bitter past is brought back to memory. It’s a past that MLB and fans alike need to forget.