Wednesday, August 4, 2010

600 Yawns

Alex Rodriguez hit his 600th home run today.


In the years following the steroid-enhanced 80s and 90s, what would have once been a milestone for baseball fans everywhere to cheer instead carries absolutely no weight or interest for me. The spectre of the cheater looms large over all of these records. While I've never liked him as a player, I once looked forward to Rodriguez erasing that monster of all tainted records -- Barry Bonds' lifetime home run record. Now, I'll never be able to see it as anything but a record by a cheat eclipsing another record by another cheat.

It's a damn shame. I love baseball and always have but the needle and the 'roids have spoiled much of what I once cheered. Yes, I watched when Mark McGuire surpassed Roger Maris and while he was blown up like Mr. Stay Puft, I didn't know much about anabolic steroids or ever think of them being used in baseball and so was willing to cheer along with the crowds.

The revelation that David "Big Papi" Ortiz had been caught in the drug testing made me wonder about his Red Sox record for single season home runs as well as the validity of the 2004 and 2007 World Series. (The revelation that Manny Ramirez had been caught with female hormones used to mask steroids in his system didn't really surprise me...he was such a flake nothing about him surprised me.)

Now I look at records being set and amazing things in the game and always face a niggling doubt that what I'm seeing isn't real.

Hank Aaron's hallowed record is nothing but a hollow bit of fakery in the hands of these charlatans. While Major League Baseball won't admit it, Hammerin' Hank Aaron and Roger Maris are still the true home run kings.

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