Alex Rodriguez passed Willie Mays for sole position of fourth place on the all-time home run list Thursday evening at Yankee Stadium. We all knew it was coming, so I’ll spare you the storyline. Good or bad (and most are bad), everyone has their opinion of A-Rod.
Two things surprised me about A-Rod’s milestone. The first was the standing ovation — and really, just how lucky he was to hit No. 661 at home. If it was on the road, it would have been another boo-fest for Rodriguez, but Yankee fans have taken pretty kindly to A-Rod this season. Obviously, they’re going to cheer on their team — and the HR was huge in winning this game. But the support for someone that continued using steroids, and then just keeps lying about it, definitely wasn’t expected.
But I do understand why fans are buying in on this guy, because he almost has me fooled too. A-Rod has come across as very humble throughout this entire process. Even the Yanks — who continue to say they won’t acknowledge A-Rod’s climb up the HR list — put up a little congratulations on the big screen.
“All of this is pretty crazy. A year ago today I never thought I would ever get a curtain call or be hitting in the middle of the lineup for the Yankees, helping our team win,” Rodriguez said after the game.
A-Rod’s focus has been on the Yankees, not chasing legends on the HR list — at least in all the interviews I’ve seen. A-Rod has said all the right things, and actually comes across as humble. He even asked Joe Girardi if it was OK for him to accept the curtain call after passing Mays.
And let’s not forget, with all the headlines surrounding him, Rodriguez is actually having a good season on the field. He’s hitting .245 with 7 HRs and 18 RBI, and like he said, he’s really helping his team win.
I’m not buying any of his off the field act, though. This is the same guy that has lied to us over and over again. He’s smart. He knows the angle that he needs to take to try and gain back as much support as he can. Bravo, A-Rod. You’ve put on a great performance, but I still see through you.
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