A-Rod Hits 600th Home Run

Alex Rodriguez has just joined the 600 home run club.

Alex Rodriguez has just joined the 600 home run club, with a first inning shot over Shaun Marcum in a rare day game.

Rodriguez became the youngest player in history to join the 600 Club, and the seventh player in baseball history to reach the milestone, behind Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Ken Griffey Jr. and Sammy Sosa.

Bonds, Sosa, and A-Rod cheated to get there, diminishing the achievement somewhat.  One wonders if anyone will care a decade from now?

FILED UNDER: Quick Takes, Sports
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Drew says:

    “Bonds, Sosa, and A-Rod cheated to get there, diminishing the achievement somewhat.”

    Somewhat?  How about, “completely.”

    The general public attitude is to criticise business practices that are viewed as unfair.  And so it should be.  That we spare entertainers from this standard is annoying.    

  2. Trumwill says:

    It’s an unpopular position, but as far as I am concerned the circumstances in which A-Rod’s use came to light was illegitimate and his confession was fruit from a poisonous tree. Anonymity was a key component of the drug-testing agreement and the failure to preserve that anonymity ultimately makes it more likely that the player’s union will ever more forcefully oppose a stringent testing regime.
    The extent to which it is really cheating depends on the big thing we really don’t know: how many other players were or are using? If just about everybody is, then the playing field among modern players is level. The playing field between current hitters and those back in Babe Ruth’s day is extremely unlevel and the numbers put up now and then cannot really be compared for reasons much bigger than the steroid issue.

  3. James Joyner says:

    [T]he circumstances in which A-Rod’s use came to light was illegitimate and his confession was fruit from a poisonous tree.

    I agree completely.  But I can’t unknow something.

  4. Rick DeMent says:

    The playing field between current hitters and those back in Babe Ruth’s day is extremely unlevel and the numbers put up now and then cannot really be compared for reasons much bigger than the steroid issue.

    But the pitching was not the same either. today guys throw ungodly breaking balls and all kinds of junk never ever heard of in Babe Ruth’s day and the strike zone is half the size. If anything it’s amazing these guys can get on base at all. But the pitching mound is lower so …

  5. Trumwill says:

    Rick, that is mostly what I was getting at. The whole game is different. More was expected of pitchers back then (10 or more complete games was not uncommon and starting pitchers would often come in mid-rotation and complete somebody else’s game), so hitters faced tired pitchers. There was the intense recruiting regimen then as there is now and so the pitchers Babe Ruth faced weren’t as good as the pitchers Barry Bonds did even at full-strength. On the other hand, other factors favor modern-day hitters. It’s really impossible to tell how well Ruth or Mantle would do today or Bonds or Sosa would have done then. Steroids is really the least of it.