Mr. 3000 We Tip Our Cap to You (From a Sox Fan)
This wasn’t how it was supposed to be and yet I doubt Alex Rodriguez envisioned it any differently. The longtime Yankee star collected his 3,000th career hit on Friday, launching and opposite field A-Bomb off Detroit starter Justin Verlander. Yankee Stadium erupted in applause for Alex as he circled the bases and I’m sure 150 thoughts raced through his mind (one being how to get my ball back from the guy who caught it). As he crossed home plate he was greeted with hugs from his teammates. After he entered the dugout he retreated and waved fondly to the legions of Yankee fan so ecstatic they had seen history and were gracing their star with a well deserved curtain call. For a moment Alex Rodriguez was King again. Reality would soon set in with the explosion of “A-Fraud, and steroid user” taunts on social media. People yelling for an asterisk and saying that his accomplishment is tainted. Regardless of your opinion (mine being I would never vote a PED user into the Hall of Fame) the fact is this man is one of the greatest to ever put on a uniform.
From the moment he put on a Seattle Mariners uniform we knew he was special. He was the golden boy. After he signed the largest contract in baseball history at the time with the Texas Rangers our thoughts of A-Rod were simple: “he’s the best, he is baseball.” Tons of his jerseys were seen all over, though the Rangers had awful years Alex was worth the price of admission alone. MVP chants were a daily habit for the stud shortstop and surely he would be the face of baseball for years to come. After the 2003 season Rodriguez was traded…TWICE.
Somewhere at 4 Yawkey Way buried deep in the Fenway Park archives there is a contract signed by Alex Rodriguez to play baseball for the Boston Red Sox. He was so willing to come to Boston he would take a massive pay cut. Alex wanted to be the guy that broke the curse. The commissioner’s office wouldn’t allow the deal to go through leaving A-Rod and Boston dismayed. A few weeks later A-Rod was a Yankee, smiling donning his pinstripes it was a victory for the Bronx Bombers and once again they had defeated their bitter rivals to the North. 2004 didn’t go exactly as the Yankees and A-Rod had hoped though in a way he did help break the curse. But enough about that painful memory Yankees fans.
A-Rod went on to win three MVP’s in his time with the Yankees, and finally won himself his lone World Series title in 2009 (Thanks Hideki Matsui). His time prior to that point was overshadowed by his playoff failure and the fact he could never live up to Derek Jeter.
After multiple allegations and finally an admittance of guilt baseball’s golden boy became public enemy number one. He had betrayed the game and the fans who so loved him. The children who he was a hero to now thought of his only with shame in disgust. The hate became even more vile after he was suspended for the entire 2014 season.
However, every dog has their day and 2015 has been that day for Alex. Not only did he pass Willie Mays for fourth on the all time homerun list but is now forever a baseball immortal after reaching that 3,000 hit plateau. After seeing his humble nature and passion for the game this year it is obvious most Yankee fans “FORG1V3” A-Rod (Credit to Bald Vinny for the #FORG1V3 slogan). The rest of baseball are a bit tougher to crack but there is one thing I know for sure. PED’s or not it takes a ton of skill to have 3,000 base hits. Say what you want about the man or what he has done but the truth is we should all tip our caps to Alexander Emmanuel Rodriguez who on Tuesday night in the Bronx joined the 3,000 hit club.
By Matt Cote
Follow me on Twitter @MCote31
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