From 3 time MVP, MLB’s next All-Time great too the poster boy for this so called ‘PED Era’ and constant backlash on every single move he makes. Alex had the potential to go down as one of the all-time great players, if not the best ever, but now the question at hand is what will his legacy be? When you hear the name Alex Rodriguez 10 years from now, will you think about how he could carry teams single handedly or about the dark days when PED’s haunted his career? Well let me dive into it and maybe help you out a little bit
When Alex 1st started receiving AB’s everyday in 1996, let’s just say he made an instant impact to the offense. He hit .358, had 215 hits, 36 Home Runs and 123 RBI’s. Let’s not forget his .414 OBP and his .631 SLG %, which finished 2nd in the MVP race that year. Alex had a span of 6 straight 40+ HR seasons, 3 where he hit 50+ and had 8 total with 40 or more. He’s also one of 3 players in Major League Baseball HISTORY to have a 40/40 season; 1998 – 42 HR’s / 46 SB’s.
As his career progressed he became the number one feared hitter in all of baseball. In a 13 year span during his career he had 30+ HR’s and 100+ RBI’s in each season. That type of production has never been seen before with such longevity. A 13 time All-Star, 2 time Gold-Glove, SHORT-STOP, 3 time MVP and 2 time runner up, and 1 World Series Championship with the Yankees in 2009. Not to be forgotten, in the 1st 2 rounds of the 2009 postseason, he legitimately put the Yankees on his back when he compiled 14 hits, 5 HR’s, 12 RBI’s and hit .420+ in only 9 postseason games. The fastest to 500 Home Runs ever was Jimmie Foxx, Alex broke that. Babe Ruth was the fastest to 600, Alex broke that too.
But with the good and even the great aspects of Alex’s game, there’s something terrible that unfortunately outweighs the positive aspect of his career. After being mentioned in reports back in 2003 and than again in 2007 by Jose Canseco that he used steroids he denied all reports and that was not the right rout to take because 2 years later in 2009, he admitted to taking steroids from 2001-2003. Sports Illustrated actually had reported Alex had failed a drug test back in 2003, according to the Mitchell Report but suspensions were not in place at that time. After admitting it in 2009 everything seemingly has spiraled downward. From 2010-2012 he never hit for a higher average than .276, the last 2 seasons he’s had a combined 34 Home Runs and 119 RBI’s and the seasons have been riddled with injuries. His last 2 postseasons he hasn’t hit better than .125 in a series (3 Series) and has been nothing except a liability. Now, as everyone knows, 2013 hasn’t been A-Rod’s best year, to say the least. Earlier this season Alex was linked to a clinic down in Miami, with other MLB players as well, to Biogenesis, where they would supply him and the others with Performing Enhancing Drugs. As Alex continued to rehab after his hip surgery this year, the speculation of a suspension surfaced and next thing we know, the pieces began to fall. As Ryan Braun took his 66 game suspension and 11 others took there 50 game suspensions, we all awaited A-Rod’s ruling. The ruling came down the same day as the other 11, it was learned he would be suspended 211 games, all the way through the 2014 season. While Alex currently appeals this ruling, which is 100% in his rights due to what the players union passed, he’s had other reports about problems with the Yankees management and it seems to be a never ending cycle.
With everything you read or have seen about Alex Rodriguez, steroids, PED’s or not you can’t deny the talent the guy possessed. When you’re a talented athlete whether you bend the rules or not, you still perform at a high level, you still have to have the hand eye coordination amongst other things to succeed. I’m not defending Alex to the fullest extent because I do believe cheating is bad and the rules with cheating must stiffen up if we want to see our beloved game become the National past-time it once was. But with that being said, regardless of him cheating, you don’t approach 3,000 career hits and 700 career home runs if you’re not super talented. Alex is a great player with a dark history of things that can’t be forgiven by many people around the sport. You don’t make 355 MILLION dollars over a baseball career if you’re not a world class talent. The legacy of Alex Rodriguez has definitely been tainted, but looking at the big picture, he has lived up to expectations on the diamond of being one of the most feared hitters of all-time.