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A-Rod Hits 600
August 6, 2010 - Al Stephenson
Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees has finally hit career home run 600. That was inevitable as is his assault on Barry Bonds all time record. I asked some of my friends if they would like to see him surpass Bonds and whether either were worthy of the Hall of Fame given the steroids issue. The discussion that followed was interesting.
Nobody seemed to care whether A-Rod would catch Barry. I'm pretty "who cares" about that myself. I never cared for Barry Bonds. I didn't like the way he loafed in the outfield or on routine ground balls. I also didn't care for the way he conducted himself in the clubhouse as was reported. He had his own corner of the locker room and his own entourage. That doesn't sit well with me when playing a team sport.
I must admit that a part of me admires what he did in those years when he hit so many home runs. Where most players would get as many as half a dozen good pitches to hit in any given game, Bonds would get one, maybe two. They pitched around him so often that what he accomplished in the few opportunities he had was pretty impressive.
Rodriquez has had some off the field personal issues that bother some people though not me. If he wants to dally with Madonna, so be it. If he chooses to use performance enhancing drugs - well, that's another kettle of fish.
Both are likely steroid users with A-Rod admitting it and Bonds still denying any "known" use which is pretty hard to believe given the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. So given their numbers should they be first ballot Hall of Famers, or should they never be given the nod.
One of my friends wanted to know what the difference was between using steroids or getting Tommy John surgery. Both, he claimed, helped athletes recover from injuries. I'm not sure I buy his point, but there is some credence to it. He went on to suggest that steroids (like the surgery) get you back to where you were. Human growth hormone makes you bigger and stronger and that would be different.
So what do we do as far as the Hall is concerned? Well, the view from my seat is simple. If a player is found to be using a banned substance to achieve his career statistics then he needs to find another place to be enshrined.
Cooperstown doesn't want you.
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