I hadn’t really thought of that, but it’s true. Alex Rodriguez hit 33 homers last year, bringing him up to 687 and that leaves him a very doable 27 homers shy of the Bambino.
It’s something that certainly won’t cause the same level of controversy or outrage it might have if it was on the horizon a year or two ago. Then A-Rod was a pariah and his club was poised to fight him and ignore his accomplishments in any way that it could. But man, what a difference a year makes.
To see what kind of difference it makes, go check out Kevin Kernan’s article at the New York Post. He caught up with A-Rod who talks about what a crazy year it has been for him in terms of image rehabilitation. And not just image: the guy really seems to have gone through some sort of late-career attitude metamorphosis, in which he now appreciates the game and the fans and realized how close he came to losing them.
I’m not gonna say he’s turned into some Great Person — the fact is that we never can really know these guys personally to say whether they truly are bad dudes or good dudes — but he’s certainly a more appreciative and humble dude than he used to be. It’s some interesting stuff.