Alex Rodriguez hit his 1st home run of the 2012 season, moving him up to fifth on the all time list with 630. He’s now tied with Ken Griffey, 30 behind Willie Mays before he ventures, if he ever gets that far, to the 700 territory, where Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron and Barry Bonds reside. Like Bonds, Rodriguez shouldn’t be on it.
Baseball officials made a decision a long time ago. Whatever happened during the steroid era is simply better forgotten. Not erased from record books, but forgotten. Which makes dubious records stay intact, asterisk or not. Maybe these guys get hurt by not making the hall of fame, or needing more time to make it in. But the record books are mixed, tainted with these guys, sitting and standing right along those who were clean, or just never got caught.
And Rodriguez may have used PEDs for one season, or more. His name shouldn’t have been leaked, but it was. Again, nothing happened. Bud Selig decided that all the turmoil is just better addressed by pretending the era never happened. Alex Rodriguez may have lost all credibility and any popularity he still had, but it doesn’t matter. He still gets to chase what used to be the greatest record in team sports.
Until Barry Bonds got his palms on it. Only in San Francisco they cheered as Bonds kept a career going just to get his name above Aaron’s. And Rodriguez might not have enough in his arms and legs to get that far. The pace has slowed down, the injuries piling up. At least he’s still making $30 million or something close to that each year.
The moral of the story boys and girls? That as Baseball continues, no matter what they tell you, to make dumb moves on its way down in popularity, Rodriguez and others (Ryan Braun, heard of him?) keep getting their records recognized, records that used to mean something and mean less and less each season. Legitimacy? Bat cracks heard around the world? An unclean sports meaning less and less care about these incredible numbers each passing season.