A-Rod smashes 600th home run

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A-Rod smashes 600th home run

It should have been a bigger story, it should have had the nation watching everyone of his at-bats, it should have been one of the biggest days in baseball history, but instead it was a day that had people asking - what does this mean?

Alex Rodriguez hit his 600th career home run on Wednesday afternoon, becoming just the seventh member of the illustrious 600 club. He also became the youngest member of the club at 35 years and eight days, hitting his 600th home run three years to the day after smashing his 500th bomb.

"That's amazing, to the day,” Rodriguez said. "It was a relief just to put it past me. There's no question I was pressing 'cause I wanted to get it out of the way."

That pressure manifested itself into a 12-game drought with the slugger going 9-46 since mashing his 599th home run on July 22 – the longest of any of the other six in the 600 club.

A-Rod’s moment should have been bigger. It should have had everyone saying he’s got the ability to become the best of all-time, yet with his admission that he used performance-enhancing drugs during his time with the Texas Rangers, Rodriguez’s legacy will forever be tainted.

But that three-year "moment" of weakness, narrow-mindedness, stupidity – call it what you want- shouldn’t diminish Rodriguez’s talents as a player. He was one of the best prospects in the league coming up with Seattle and joined the 40-40 club in just his third full season in the majors.

But consider in the past 10 years three other players have joined the 600 club, two of whom are suspected steroid users, and the achievement becomes less of talking point. The great thing about baseball used to be its numbers and the chase of them, but now those numbers have been forever tainted, not because of Rodriguez, or the countless others who have used PED’s, but because baseball failed to curb the widespread use of them.

For that reason A-Rod’s achievement should still be celebrated – pitchers, too, used performance enhancers - and though the numbers may not be as special as they once were, it still takes a lot of work to hit 600 home runs, steroids or no steroids.

If he hits 30 home runs this year he will tie Barry Bonds with most consecutive years with 30+ and for Alex Rodriguez 600 shouldn’t quite be an empty number.




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