Mmm... You taste like shame
So A-Roid, ahem, A-Rod, finally hit 600 home runs. It's one of the numbers that resonates with baseball fans like .400, 755, and 3000. This is monumental, right? It makes him an all-time great, right? Hall of Fame for sure... Right? After taking a few days to think about it, I've realized that this number, 600, which used to mean so much in baseball, has lost some of its charm. It is no longer the legendary benchmark that decides who really are the best power hitters in the history of America's game.
On August 4th, 2010, A-Rod became the 7th player in baseball history to hit 600 home runs. The others? Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds, and Ken Griffey Jr. This is a pretty impressive list. My problem with it is this: Half of the players on this list accomplished this feat in the past 8 years. And elephant in the room: He used steroids. So did Bonds. Sosa used steroids and a corked bat. He's a phony. Plain and simple. His records are illegitimate. The number has lost its mystique. 600 used to belong to the legends of the game now is associated with some of the game's most notorious cheaters.
Think about the Red Sox winning the 2007 World Series. Yeah, it was cool. People were happy. But the reaction was NOTHING like that of 2004. People rioted, laughed, cries, rejoiced, and danced for a week. New England was on Cloud 9. It was a life changing experience. Some people thought they would never see the day when the Sox won it all. Then when it happened again, only 3 years later, people just didn't care as much. It wasn't as special.
So please, tell me: Why should I care about A-Rod hitting his 600th home run? Let me know when he gets to 763. Then again, don't. Let me know when someone clean approaches a number that matters.