As He Climbs All-Time Lists, Winning – Not Home Runs – Define Alex Rodriguez
Heading into Yankee Stadium today we realized something — Alex Rodriguez had yet to hit a home run in 2010. Fans weren’t grumbling, columnists weren’t drumming up controversy and most importantly, the Yankees were still winning. We also knew that it was only a matter of time before A-Rod broke out of the home run funk and passed Mark McGwire for sole possession of 8th place on the all-time home run list. A-Rod did just that and the Yankees clinched their 4th straight series win to start the season – the first time they had done that since 1926. We were there along with 44,962 other people to enjoy every minute of it.
In 2009, A-Rod seemed to adopt this new attitude of letting the game come to him, helping the Yankees to their 27th world championship. Fans are embracing it. The days of buying Yankees tickets to be part of the boo A-Rod sideshow are long over and we’re even tempted to toss around the “true Yankee” terminology.
While wandering around the concourses doing our typical stadium insider snooping, we came across a mural on the field level, down the left field line. It was commemorating the 2009 championship season and Alex Rodriguez was prominently featured in two huge photos – one of his iconic championship celebration and a more fun shot of him with pie on his face after one of the Yankees’ many walk-off wins.
Some Yankees fans never thought that we’d see this day, but we knew it would come all along.
Going forward, A-Rod will continue to pass home run milestones, possibly calumniating in the all-time HR record. We project that he’ll hit his 600th home run some time in June, so you might want to scoop up Yankees tickets now, before the prices go up.
Sadly, with A-Rod’s P.E.D tainted past, home runs will no longer define his place in baseball lore. If he helps the Yankees win championship No. 28 and perhaps kick-start another Yankees dynasty, however, all bets are off. We might be getting a bit too excited about an 8-3 start (as the guys over at River Avenue Blues note, April doesn’t decide anything), but it looks like 2010 is going to be another exciting one at Yankee Stadium.