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Posts tagged ‘3000 hits’

On the Verge of 3,000

Steroids don’t give a person super-human vision. Steroids won’t help a batter differentiate between balls worth hitting, and those to let pass. Steroids won’t help the timing required to hit a baseball at exactly the right time. Steroids won’t slow down baseballs that are being thrown at nearly 100mph.

Steroids will boost muscle and will help you turn hits into homeruns. Steroids, which are known to cause damage to the bodies of those who take them, will not help a player’s career longevity; it will probably shorten it.

When 3,000 happens, there should be no debate over whether “it counts” or not.

Recording 3,000 career hits takes more than homeruns and steroids. It takes many, many years of consistently hitting well to reach that milestone. And hitting takes talent beyond what steroids can provide.

The historic hit will likely happen tonight at Yankee Stadium against Justin Verlander. Less than 12 hours after it happens, I’ll be leaving for New York to see Alex Rodriguez and the Yankees play.

This trip was planned many months ago based only on my schedule. When the hotel was booked and game tickets were bought, there was still a lot of doubt about what A-Rod could accomplish this season. I wasn’t even sure he would play daily – let alone be tied for 2nd on the team in games played at the end of June (62).

Being an A-Rod fan for the better part of two decades, my biggest wish for this season was for him to come back and have a respectable year post-suspension.

I never expected him to be (arguably) the biggest asset this team has. I didn’t expect him to be at the top of every offensive category. I didn’t expect any fanfare (even if I felt he deserved it) if he reached 660, or 2,000, or 3,000.

I did expect to be the only idiot cheering for him, but am very happy there is a whole army of A-Rod fans out there with me.

Unless something really strange happens tonight, I will be one day late to witness hit #3,000 – on a trip planned totally by coincidence. I’ve jokingly said to several people “He’s put me through a lot of crap all these years – I deserve to be there when he hits 3,000!” but this season has been an even bigger reward as an A-Rod fan.

He’s almost 40 years old but let’s be honest – he’s still kicking ass, even if he’s “only” the DH. He’s doing and saying all the right things on the field and off. He’s emerging from that cloud of constant suspicion and proving what I’ve known for so many years – he’s a damn good baseball player, and he’s going down in history, asterisks or not. And with every milestone passed, and every stat compiled, there are a few more people who appreciate his career.

It’s been a long time since I first started watching that young shortstop in Seattle, and a year ago I didn’t know if I’d ever see him step onto a baseball field again. There will never be a baseball player who will ever top Alex Rodriguez as my all time favorite, and I’m so lucky to have seen him accomplish so much in his career. Steroids cannot produce the amount of baseball talent and intellect he’s been blessed with.

I’m still holding on to the tiniest bit of hope that he gets that historic hit when I’m there on Saturday, but I’m not holding my breath. This season has been so incredible already, and my biggest wish has already been fulfilled.