Is Anyone Impressed with A-Rod's Accomplishment?
As I have mentioned in previous blogs I am a baseball purist. I have grown up in the era of juiced baseballs, juiced baseball bats, and juiced baseball players. Alex Rodriguez became the youngest player to reach 600 homeruns at 35 years and 8 days, eclipsing the record held by Babe Ruth at 36 years and 196 days. I for one have to admit I am not impressed. Granted hitting 600 homeruns is impressive whether juiced or not, however it is not as impressive as what the players of the past were able to accomplish.
Hank Aaron sits in second place on the all time homerun list at 755, Barry Bonds sits at the top at 762. Aaron played in the era before steroids existed and everyone knows about the steroid situation and Barry Bonds. Aaron also played in the era before expansion teams, juiced balls, and baseball fields built like crackerjacks boxes. Aaron also played before players lifted weights in the off-season. All of the above factors are so large it is hard to really compared records from today with those of the past. The equipment being used has advanced, due to expansion there are pitchers in the majors today that would have never made a big league roster in the past, and many other factors.
Being the baseball purist, I hate the thought of having asterisks beside any record. I am just not sure with baseball that apples are being compared to apples with the records of today versus the records of the past. Maybe the only way to have things fair would be to have records from the beginning of when statistics were kept until 1979 and from 1980 to the present. At a reasonable pace of 30 homeruns over the next 6 years, Alex Rodriguez will hit 800 homeruns. A-Rod has averaged 43 homeruns over his career and has been pretty healthy, so I don't think that will be a stretch by any means. You then have Ryan Howard and Albert Pujols that will probably shatter that mark sometime in the future. Pretty soon the entire record book for hitting statistics will be with guys that only played during the juiced era. I think to preserve the history of baseball records there needs to be a separation of the players of today and the players of the past due to so many of the factors outside of the players control.