Tuesday, June 23, 2015


Alex Rodriguez-Almost a Great Yankee



More than 18 000 ballplayers have donned uniforms to play Major League baseball. One of the milestones considered important in the game is the 3000 hit plateau. Only 29 players have managed to reach that height. The latest is New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez.


He joined the 3000 hit club recently by smashing a home run off Justin Verlander. Two other players reached that number with a home run, as opposed to any other kind of hit: Wade Boggs and Derek Jeter.


The New York media had a field day with Rodriguez’s accomplishment. Alex had a little help with some of those hits: he has admitted to using performance enhancing drugs. The tabloids in Manhattan showed no mercy when documenting Alex’s achievement. The New York Post had a fine photo of A-Rod, with 3000 just below the picture. They doctored the numbers by placing hypodermic syringes on each of the zeros. Ouch!


On many of my late night journeys from Belleville to the County, I often listen to a radio station out of New York-The Fan on 660 AM radio. I realize that is pretty “old school”; however, the announcers and the folks who call in with their opinions are well versed in the game. Occasionally, I listen to the Yankee games from the station. John Sterling and Suzy Waldman serve up large doses of Yankee information during their broadcasts. When the Yankees win, Sterling informs us of the outcome by repeating, several times, “The Yankees win, the Yankees win”. And when the games come from Yankee Stadium, you can hear Frank Sinatra’s version of “New York, New York” echoing through the stadium.


The Yankee announcers are unabashedly Yankee fans. They are big A-Rod supporters, and made a lot of noise about his accomplishment. They will continue to sing his praises as he zeroes in on other milestones.



He has been the Most Valuable Player in the league three times. He has won ten American League Silver Slugger Awards, he has been selected as an all star 14 times. The list goes on and on. He is one of the greatest players of all time.



I suspect that he will never enter the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, because of his use of performance enhancing drugs. A-Rod denied using anything of the like for a long time. So did the other cheaters: Bonds, McGwire,  Clemens, Sosa, et al. It has always been, “Deny, deny, deny”, until you are caught.



In the most recent selections to the Hall of Fame, the steroid users were stoned by the selection committee. It appears that none of the users will ever get to the Hall. According to this writer, that is what it should be. Another red flag has popped up recently regarding Pete Rose, and his alleged gambling activities. There is no room for him.



I suspect that Rodriguez regrets using the banned substances. He is a proud individual. After sitting out last season, he has really played well this year. He has made buckets of money, and some of that came as a result of drug usage. But it is all tainted, and there will be an asterix beside every one of those amazing statistics, forever.



But if I am pitching, I might cringe a little if I see him in the on deck circle, with the bases loaded.



James Hurst

June 23,m 2015   

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