In a different era, this would be a big deal. After all, baseball is perhaps the most serious about statistics when compared to the other major sports. Serious sports fans are generally aware of more baseball records than any other sporting milestones, and certain records are seen as “hallowed” parts of the game. Of course, the reputation of baseball has changed quite a bit over the last decade, and fans are not quite as sure about the legitimacy of certain records. With that in mind, here are a few reasons that many baseball fans are not terribly enthusiastic about Alex Rodriguez reaching 600 home runs for his career.
Pride of the Yankees
After starting with Seattle and then signing a monstrous contract with the Texas Rangers, Alex Rodriguez finally made his way to New York. Despite putting up big numbers and finally winning a ring with the Bronx Bombers, A-Rod has never endeared himself to the New York market. Despite the loyal Yankee fan base around the world, there is arguably an equal base of fans that loath the Yankees with their propensity of buying championships. Rodriguez is in many ways a perfect villain, which is why some people are not rooting for him to keep succeeding on the field.
Another reason that fans may not be excited about Rodriguez reaching 600 home runs is that he has never been the most warm or likeable player. It seems clear from past comments and media coverage that A-Rod is a bit insecure and that he struggles being in the spotlight. While some people may feel sympathy for Alex and his spotlight issues, others are not impressed by a world-class talent who has difficulty dealing with his surroundings. The realist understands that professional athletes are still people, but that doesn’t change the fact that some fans expect stars to be almost superhuman in all aspects of their personality.
The steroid cloud
Finally, fans are not excited about A-Rod’s achievement because Rodriguez is now included by some on the list of “asterisk” players who have admitted using or been caught using steroids. The major challenge with the steroid issue is that fans have no way of knowing how much was used or how the drugs impacted performance. A-Rod admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs, but even his admittance did not make sense to many people in terms of timeline and performance. Therefore, his entire career now has a question mark, which has caused many to wonder if he should be categorized with players like Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, and Rafael Palmeiro. For now, A-Rod may be on pace to eclipse Barry Bonds’ all-time home run record. Unfortunately, some fans would rather that both players were not included in the record. Some fans would like to give the record back to Hank Aaron.