Thursday August 5, 2010
Yesterday, Alex Rodriguez finally joined the 600 club. He hit the historic homer deep to center field, in the confines of Monument Park. The shot came off Blue Jays P Shaun Marcum on a 2-0 count. It was also the same date A-Rod hit his 500th career home run. Yet, history doesn’t come without skeptics.
Reporters criticize A-Rod’s past, saying the 600th home run is tainted with the steroid era. Rodriguez admitted he took steroids after Selena Roberts released an excerpt from her A-Rod book (see https://sebastiantsu.wordpress.com/2009/11/28/february-16-2009/ for my coverage of those events). What is Alex Rodriguez’s legacy? Is he a liar and a cheater? Is he a team player? Is he the greatest player to lace up the cleats? The answers are more open-ended than you think.
Time for the magic man to take over!
Alex Rodriguez was advertised as the next gem of baseball. There was just one problem. He never made it to the show. He couldn’t carry a team to the postseason let alone the World Series. Yet, Rodriguez won the American League MVP. He decided his time in Texas was done and was traded. Rodriguez joined the New York Yankees, which featured the best and worst years of his life.
Rodriguez moved to third base to play alongside Derek Jeter at shortstop. He settled into his role and won two more AL MVP Awards. The cons outweighed the pros. Rodriguez couldn’t come through in clutch situations. This observation was never more prominent than the playoffs. Year after year, Rodriguez disappointed his team, the fans and himself. His life outside of baseball was also falling apart. After a fiasco in Toronto and cheating allegations (which later were proven true), his wife divorce him, splitting apart their family. They have joint custody of their children. His hip surgery forced him to sit out the first month of the 2009 season. By the time Rodriguez came back, he wanted to put everything behind him. He succeeded and finally came through in the postseason, winning his first World Series title.
As you can see, Rodriguez’s career has been marred professionally and personally. His name is linked to the steroid saga. Yet, he carries on. Rodriguez’s life has been an uneven tradeoff of positive and negative events. He’s won awards and a championship but lost the ideal legacy. Now, he seeks for redemption. Rodriguez knows that asterisk will be beside his name. He can do nothing to prevent it. What he can do is be repentant. Repair his image as best as possible. Be a role model, and maybe, just maybe, kids will aspire to be Alex Rodriguez again.
Copyrighted @ 2007