Formerly known for his record-breaking accomplishments and success, New York Yankees‘ Alex Rodriguez was once dubbed an MLB icon alone, but he’s also become very familiar with scandal over his twenty year career. On June 19th, 2015 Alex Rodriguez added to his lengthy resume and became the 29th player in baseball history to record 3,000 career hits. Reaching a feat that is something every major leaguer dreams of is an incredible accomplishment and puts the third base power hitter among several all-time greats, but it is also something that the baseball world is torn over.
This controversy didn’t emerge over Rodriguez’s skill, but instead, it comes over the fact that not all of those 3,000 hits were “legal”. After being suspended for a season, A-Rod is back and trying to prove his talent to the world without steroids. He served his punishment, ended the use of performance enhancing drugs, and returned to the field legally, but with a vengeance. Since his return, Alex Rodriguez has been racking up home runs like they’re base hits and relentlessly proving his talent. Despite his steroid-free success, spectators would like to take away his prestige for earning 3,000 hits. Many have question if a player who “cheated” his way to the top should be allowed to keep his statistics. Some critics have even suggested the idea of placing an asterisk next to the accomplishment to signal that his record came partially from the notorious Steroid Era. That would also that any other player who used PEDs and were among the best would also have some of their accomplishments stripped of merit and downplayed, including many all-time greats, such as Barry Bonds or Mark McGuire.
Although some MLB fans and players may think this 3,000 record is entirely a fraud and needs to be removed or altered in order to be fair, America’s favorite pastime has had many different periods through its history and has grown with the nation. The Steroid Era is one of these periods. It was an upsetting time for millions of baseball fans, but once trials took place and punishments were had, the MLB organization cracked down on PED use and things improved greatly on the diamond. Moving forward, there hadn’t been a steroid controversy as large as A-Rod’s for nearly a decade, but when it hit, there was a massive wave of disappointment, anger, and confusion for MLB fans everywhere. Time has passed, a punishment and fine were implemented, and Rodriguez was welcomed back to baseball. While he wasn’t given a warm welcome from the majority of the baseball world, A-Rod took the right steps to change his ways and made his come back doing the one thing he knows best. The past cannot be changed and baseball fans can only accept A-Rod’s return, 3,000 career hits and all. While cheating is not being promoted, the large looming question is, will A-Rod be remembered as a league great or a disdained cheater, despite his clear talent? Only time will tell if the MLB keeps his stats as is, but 100% yes, Alex Rodriguez should be memorialized as a talent that many could not touch, with or without steroid.
There is no denying that A-Rod makes it look easy every time he steps up to the plate, and his 3,000th his was no exception. Rodriguez’s 3,000 hit soared into the stands, showing this player has an undeniable gift. With form that is close to perfection and a swing that any other MLB player would for, truly make A-Rod a power player. These aren’t things steroids create, they are the raw skill he possesses that cannot be taken away or downplayed. Alex Rodriguez is talented without a doubt and maybe it’s time to accept his taken and skill that were previously overshadowed by controversy.