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Sunday, May 19, 2013
Is it A-fraud or A-roid? The real question should be why?Posted Wednesday, February 18, 2009, at 8:34 AM
In 15 seasons, he has played in 2,042 games.
He's registered 7,680 career at-bats and 2,404 hits for an average of .306.
He has amassed 1,605 runs, 1,606 runs batted in and a slugging percentage of .578.
In addition, he has totaled 428 doubles and 553 home runs.
These are Alex Rodriguez' career numbers. Through the age of 32, he stands among the greatest to ever play the game.
When comparing his first years in the league to other all-time greats by the age of 32, Rodriguez has more at-bats, home runs, runs scored, stolen bases and strikeouts.
He's not that far off from Rogers Hornsby in the categories of hits and doubles and only Jimmie Foxx comes close to him during that span for a player in home runs.
Foxx, however, has a huge lead during that span in RBI.
On Monday, Rodriguez faced a hungry media wanting answers for his recent admission to taking performance-enhancing drugs while he played for the Texas Rangers in 2001-03.
Rodriguez is known for hitting home runs.
So, I looked at his career numbers recently with the three teams he has played for, the Rangers, the Seattle Mariners and the New York Yankees.
The three years prior to joining the Rangers, Rodriguez -- in a Mariner uniform at the time -- averaged 41 homers a season.
His first three years with the Yankees, he averaged 39.7 home runs.
His three years in Texas? A total of 52 homers per year average.
He has hit 553 homers since debuting in the league in 1994. During that 15-year span, he's averaging 36.9 home runs per season.
That number is low, however, because during his first two years in the league, he only played in a total of 65 games.
Rodriguez broke into the league in 1994, but his first full season was 1996. At the age of 20, he hit .358 in 146 games. He tallied 215 hits, 54 of which were doubles and 36 of which were home runs. He had a slugging percentage of .631, which was better than any of the three years he played in a Texas uniform.
One could argue Rodriguez' numbers look similar to those of the all-time greats.
It has often been said players in Major League Baseball are at their "peak" when they are in the mid-20s. The argument generally is, a player's statistics start to drop when they reach their 30s as they start to get older.
Rodriguez joined the Rangers' roster at age 25, when he had back-to-back 50-home run years.
Since joining the Yankees, he has tallied more than 40 homers twice, banging out 48 in 2005 and hitting 54 in 2007.
His first MVP season came in 2003 with the Rangers, but he has since won two with the Yankees, in 2005 and 2007, when he had the big home run seasons.
Why did he have to take performance-enhancing drugs?
Numbers don't lie and baseball is a game of numbers.
There simply was no need, right? Looking at his career, he didn't need them, right?
He went three straight seasons of 40 or more homers with the Mariners before leaving for Texas.
He had put together, arguably, five of the best seasons in baseball history before joining Texas' roster.
Why, Alex? Why?
On Monday, Rodriguez blamed his performance-enhancing drug use on stupidity and being young.
A week before that, he told ESPN reporter Peter Gammons basically the same thing.
It will be argued that Rodriguez' career numbers are good enough to get him in the Hall of Fame regardless of the three-year span with the Rangers.
If you take out those three years, he still has 397 home runs, which still favors comparably to the all-time greats, including Willie Mays, Mel Ott and Frank Robinson.
Rodriguez still has plenty of baseball left in him.
After all, he's only 32. He could play, realistically, for another 10 seasons.
He should -- if he continues to put up the numbers he has -- break the all-time home run mark.
But does it matter now? In the eyes of everyone, those numbers are now tainted.
It will be difficult for Hall of Fame voters -- baseball writers mostly -- to forget this. They will hold it against him when he comes up for induction.
They have held the same things against Mark McGwire in recent seasons, even though nothing has ever been proven regarding performance-enhancing drug use on his part.
Most of them have said they will hold it against Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens when they come up for induction in just a few years.
Why, Alex? Why?
Remember, numbers don't lie. And he had the numbers and is still producing numbers. With or without performance-enhancing drugs.