Alex Rodriguez hit his 599th career home run last night, and given that he’s facing Royals pitchers this weekend, I wouldn’t bet against him knocking number 600 before Monday rolls around.
There’s some growing excitement about this in the last 24 hours or so, but it has certainly been muted. I’ve heard more beefing from Yankees’ fans about Joba Chamberlain than I have about A-Rod’s impending milestone. The tabloids are way more pumped about claiming Jerry Manuel’s scalp than they are in celebrating the feat.
Which is not surprising, because it’s A-Rod, and no one really much cares for him. I get that. And between his general lack of popularity and the PED associations, I understand why people may be giving Rodriguez’s impending milestone less hype than we might have expected.
But I think something else is going on here, and it’s way more benign: 600 homers simply isn’t anything we haven’t seen before. Three guys — Ken Griffey, Jr., Sammy Sosa and Barry Bonds — did it in the past few years. That certainly makes the event less special. And you can’t just say it’s because two of them are known PED users. Griffey has never had such associations, and the hype surrounding his reaching 600 was not particularly monumental either. Six guys doing something in the history of the game is still among the rarest accomplishments you’ll see, but given that we’ve all seen it happen recently it seems less special.
So it could simply be a matter of no one caring that A-Rod is going to hit his 600th home run. I think, though, that no one would care all that much no matter who it was.