As I write this blog, Alex Rodriquez has 599 home runs and may have 600 by the time I finish writing, as they are in the third inning against Kansas City. The baseball world is ready to heap praise on his achievement.
I can not get excited. Many of those home runs came from performance enhancing drugs. And I don’t mean Viagra.
Mariner fans boo A-Fraud when he comes to town because we know him to be a liar. When Griffey wanted to be traded, he said he wanted to play in Cincinnati in front of his family. So the Mariners obliged and Junior played in Cincinnati for nine years and then came back to Seattle where he is still loved.
When A-Fraud tested free agency he said he wanted to play for a team that had a winning tradition, that it was not about the money, but about winning. From the way he talked it sounded like the Yankees. But he signed with Texas. Winning tradition? Maybe the Cowboys; certainly, most definitely not the Rangers.
If he had said he wanted to be the highest paid baseball player, then fine, but he lied about his intent. Is it any surprise that he lied about taking performance enhancing drugs? Even at his press conference where he came clean, he still shaded the truth, and doubtless lied a time or two as subsequent information surfaced.
So he can hit 600 homers, even 700 or 800, but he will not be a baseball hero to anyone from the Northwest. He may take the stance that Mark McQwire did. McQwire said he would have hit the same amount of homers without the drugs.
That is a ridiculous statement. He, Sosa, Bonds, and Palmeiro, to name a few, put up numbers that stand out as an aberration. They, like A-Fraud, cheated.
Hank Aaron had 755 homers. He stood 6 feet, weighed 180 pounds. Not a big man in today’s game. But he towers over Bonds, McQwire, and A-Fraud for he hit his homers the natural way. He is a true hero.