The Notorious R-O-D
It's hard to argue the man's talent. It's hard to look at his career numbers and deny that he will go down as one of the best to ever play the game.
In his 21-year MLB career, he's belted 677 home runs, 2,017 RBIs, and has a slugging percentage of .558. He ranks fourth on the all-time homerun list, behind only Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth.
If you haven't guessed who this All-Star and World Series champion is yet, it's Yankees star Alex Rodriguez.
A-Rod is one of the most talented players, but he's done plenty of goofy things to taint his legacy. You see, Rodriguez will forever be tainted due to his admission steroid use.
For almost two years, Rodriguez vehemently denied using performance enhancing drugs (PEDs). He went as far as calling the investigation into his drug use a "witch hunt."
The problem was, he was guilty and admitted it while under oath. For his trouble's, MLB suspended him for an entire season.
And that wasn't the first time he'd admitted to using illegal performance enhancing drugs, acknowledging he used steroids during his time with the Texas Rangers.
So, when A-Rod steps away from the game how should he be judged? Do we look at him with the same microscope we look at Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire?
They were all suspected/admitted PED users. Do they all deserve to have an asterisk next to their names in the record books?
No, they don't.
Did they cheat the game? Yes.
Whether he cheated or not, Rodriguez deserves to be recognized as one of the game's greatest. His numbers speak for themselves.
He'll have to live with his legacy. He'll have to live with the disappointment, the snickers and the doubters.
Alex Rodriquez gives meaning to my life.
Stick with me here.
I consider A-Rod the same way I consider death.
If life were permanently prolonged, it would have no meaning. Our time would become un-precious. And if every person were good, we would have no appreciation for good people.
It was hard to miss Rodriguez this week, and not just because it looks like he’s swinging a toothpick in the batter’s box. On Saturday, two days before his 40th birthday, he hit three home runs.
As a New York City resident, I couldn’t avoid the subject. The next day, as I enjoyed a beer in the center field bleachers at Citi Field, I asked a man in New York Yankees garb for his thoughts.
“I hope it was honest,” he shrugged.
The Yankees are in first, and Rodriquez is largely responsible. Yet, a fan of the most dominant franchise in America can only muster glumness. That’s sad.
I’m not a Yankees fan, and even though I reside in The Big Apple, it’s easy for me to take an outsider’s perspective. I’ve surprised myself with feelings of sympathy.
“Addiction” seems obvious in this story, and not entirely because of Rodriguez’s history with performance enhancing drugs. He has a very obvious dependency on “fame.”
I believe that, almost always, money is the root of all professional decisions. Rodriquez is an exception. He doesn’t need money.
Every Major League stadium outside the Bronx awaited A-Rod with a degree of verbal abuse that normal people cannot comprehend.
So why go back?
Why go back to meth? Positive or negative, Rodriquez needs the spot light.
But Rodriquez might get the last laugh. He’s weathered the heckling and, believe it or not, his legacy stands to end on a high note.
Let’s just hope, for the sake of a legitimate October, that he’s been honest.