Originally posted by Ronald Blum, AP Sports WriterAlex Rodriguez became the youngest player to hit 600 home runs Wednesday, reaching the milestone after a 12-game drought — and exactly three years to the day after his 500th homer — with a drive off Toronto's Shaun Marcum in the first inning at Yankee Stadium.
Rodriguez lofted a 2-0 pitch over the middle of the plate for his 17th homer of the season, giving the Yankees a 2-0 lead. The ball sailed over the center-field wall and landed in Monument Park, allowing a stadium worker to retrieve it for him.
Quite an achievement for A-Rod. For the record, the other members of the 600+ Home Run club (lifetime total in parentheses):
Barry Bonds (762) Hank Aaron (755) Babe Ruth (714) Willie Mays (660) Ken Griffey Jr. (630) Sammy Sosa (609)
Not a baseball fan so not personally affected by A-Rod's feat, but as a Bostonian, my friends are die hard Red Sox fans so they're irritated. More amusing are the non-A-Rod-supporting folks I follow on Twitter:
@funnyordie A-Rod's 600th home run took so long because it was like trying to find a needle in a butt cheek.
@sethmeyers21 Congratulations A-Rod. I will never remember where I was the day you hit 600.
And this was a few days ago, but I found it hilarious:
@kentremendous "Alex Rodriguez is my favorite baseball player of all time!" said nobody. 12:10 PM Jul 30th via web
Originally posted by AlexI can't wait to see if his eventual chasing of the all-time record will hit even lower depths of joylessness compared to Barry Bonds'.
You know, at his age, with his injury problems, and with his below average (by his standards) level of homerun production over the past few years, I wouldn't bet on him making a run at it.
If I recall correctly, he would have to average over 30 HRs per year from now until he's 40 years old to pass Bonds. And to get to that mythical 800 HR mark he'd have to average 40 HRs per year until he's 40. Or average 30+ and play into his mid-40s. Expecting that kind of production in what should be the worst part of your career, power-wise, isn't quite a pipe dream but it is also far from a sure thing.
Once upon a time it seemed almost a foregone conclusion that he would be the first one to break 800, but just like Tiger breaking Jack's majors record, it doesn't seem all that certain anymore.
Some people (including myself) will continue to wonder what would have been or should the 600 home run mark mean something since A-Rod did admit to using substances during his tenure in Texas. Granted, I think A-Rod would have gotten to this milestone regardless of what he used or if he never used as a Ranger. Regardless of what he did in the past, congrats are still in order.
The 600 home run mark is shared only by 6 other players and the list will not grow much longer in the near future. Perhaps Albert Pujols is the best bet to reach not only the 600 home run plateau but also the 700 club.
577 Jim Thome (39) 554 Manny Ramirez (38) 434 Chipper Jones (38) 428 Vladimir Guerrero (35) 412 Jason Giambi (39) 403 Andruw Jones (33) 392 Albert Pujols (30) 390 Jim Edmonds (40) 352 Paul Konerko (34) 342 Adam Dunn (30) 339 David Ortiz (34) 327 Todd Helton (36) 326 Lance Berkman (34) 321 Carlos Lee (34) 318 Troy Glaus (33) 309 Alfonso Soriano (34) 307 Ivan Rodriguez (38)
I think it's possible Thome could do it next season, but it's not a sure thing (and he could always retire.) Manny really should be at 600 already, but it would not be surprising if he never makes it to 560.
Pujlos has been down this season, but he still feels like a guy who will be at 600 in 6-7 years. Dunn probably should be only a year or two behind, but he also feels like a guy who might crater a lot earlier than others his age. Where he ends up next season, and if he's willing to DH, has as big an affect as anything.
Interesting list of names there. Of that bunch, only Pujols, Thome and Manny have shots at 600 (I'll bet Albert and just one of the other two make it, though I can't guess which). Past them, Dunn's the only one with even an outside crack at 500 homers.
For interest's sake, Miguel Cabrera has 235 career homers and is 27. He'd be my pick as a current guy who might break into the 600-homer club.
1. I have no idea what you mean when you say "in terms of an overall baseball player". Mauer had a monster hitting season in '09, but we have no idea if he can keep that up. I give A-Rod the edge in offensive production in previous years.