Friday, July 23, 2010

ARod's milestone nothing to celebrate

I won't be rooting for Alex Rodriguez to hit his 600th home run this weekend. But judging from the reaction of the New York Yankees faithful at the stadium last night, I may be in the minority.

ARod's quest certainly hasn't generated nearly the excitement in Yankee land as Derek Jeter's pursuit of Lou Gehrig's all-time hits record and rightly so. In that case, you had one iconic Yankee pursuing another. I remember being completely bummed because I was in Las Vegas enjoying a long overdue vacation, but running around to sports bars trying to watch Yankees games so I wouldn't miss it. Fortunately for me, Jeter had the courtesy to wait until I was back in New York to catch his historic moment. It felt right to be home for that.

But I don't feel any connection to ARod's pursuit of 600 homers. In truth, I was a bit surprised to watch the reaction in the 8th inning when ARod came up to the plate. I know that a lot of Yankee fans have forgiven ARod, thanks to his clutch postseason performance last year. I have no problem with forgiving bad behavior, but celebrating it is another issue entirely. I refuse to celebrate ARod’s cheating, which helped him get to this point.
In all honesty, I expected to see more indifference to his pursuit and was bothered by the happy reaction at the stadium last night. What does it say about fans that they're willing to celebrate what is obviously a tainted milestone and the bad example ARod set for all young athletes?

It's hard for me to root against ARod performing well because he is a Yankee and right in the middle of the lineup. But I'm hoping ARod doesn't hit his 600th homer this weekend at home. If it happens on the road, then it will get the reaction it deserves: indifference, with some booing mixed in.

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