I think it is safe to say that Alex Rodriguez is one of the most disliked and unpopular players in Major League Baseball. In 2014, Rodriguez was suspended for 162 games for his link to steroid use in the Biogenesis scandal. The suspension tainted a career filled with impressive statistics, and many people believed this was something “A-Rod” would never be able to recover from.
Coming into the 2015 season, baseball fans weren’t expecting a great deal of production from Rodriguez. He turns 40 years old at the end of July, both of his hips are surgically repaired, and the scrutiny he would face from both the media and fans was supposed to just be overwhelming and too much for Rodriguez to handle.
People were right about the scrutiny A-Rod has faced so far this season. In every visiting park A-Rod and the Yankees play in, he is booed loudly and frequently. But, despite the boos, despite not playing in 2014, and despite many fans believing he doesn’t deserve to play the game anymore; A-Rod is having an improbable 2015 campaign.
As of June 3rd, Rodriguez has played in 51 games for the Yankees. In those 51 games, A-Rod is hitting .270, with 11 home runs, 27 RBIs, and has 48 total hits. Due in large part to his resurgence in the middle of the lineup, the Yankees are also in first place in the American League East division. Rodriguez recently passed Willie Mays, and currently sits in fourth place on the all-time home run list with 665. He also recently passed Babe Ruth on the all-time RBI list, and finds himself tied for second on the list with Barry Bonds. Both A-Rod and Bonds have 1,996 RBIs.
As a fan of the Yankees, I am glad A-Rod is having such a big bounce back season. He served his punishment, admitted his wrongdoing, and now he just wants to focus on playing baseball. It is nice to see. Since returning from his suspension, he has handled everything thrown at him. He has let his play on the field do the talking. A-Rod may even be voted into the All-Star game this season, as he currently sits in third in the designated hitter voting behind Nelson Cruz and Kendrys Morales.
Maybe his career will always be tainted. But you can’t deny that right now Alex Rodriguez is helping the Yankees win ball games. And he is doing it the right way.
Cody Crandall is an intern at the Jamestown Gazette. To read more of his insights, commentaries, and news about the world of sports and the Jamestown Jammers, visit www.jamestowngazette.com. The Jamestown Gazette is proud to present our county’s most creative and original writers for your enjoyment and enlightenment.