Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Serving Up Redemption: A-Rod Fights Back with his Bat

Amid rumors of extended steroid use during his time with the New York Yankees- perfectly timed to coincide with both A-rod's return to the Yankee lineup and the release of a new book aimed at profiting as much as possible off of the living legend's lore- A-rod is out to prove himself to his critics, skeptics and doubters. And he is not doing so with his mouth, as some might expect him to. He has taken the high road and has begun to prove everybody wrong with his bat.

We all know the story so I'm not going to regale you with the tale once more. What I will say is that I find the way Alex Rodriguez has handled the steroid rumors and revelations both extraordinary and admirable. Instead of flatly denying the claims, as so many ballplayers have done, he admitted to using steroids while with the Texas Rangers and apologized to his fans and teammates. What more can the man do? Without a way to go back in time (and I'm once again forced to draw upon the Doc Brown reference), A-rod can only express his remorse and apologize to those that feel betrayed.



A-rod avoided the embarrassment that comes when you lie to Congress only to have facts and evidence thrown in your face shortly after. He has taken nothing but gut punch after gut punch since the so-called 'tell-all' book came out. Instead of hiding under a rock, he took a different approach. He gave the media an interview (with Peter Gammons), prepared a 30 minute speech regarding the allegations and addressed his teammates in an emotional display. And then he hid…from the media that is. He has been no stranger to the diamond, batting cages or weight room, evidently.

I do not mean to defend A-rod or what he has done, as it will obviously go down as a black mark on his career and yet another black mark on the modern era of baseball. But I do have one question for the unrelenting, never-say-die critics out there: What more do you want from this man?

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Ever since coming off the disabled list this season, Rodriguez has been spectacular. In the 17 games he has played in this season, he has hit .259 (respectable, but not spectacular), batted in 17 runs and hit 7 home runs including one in his first at-bat of the season and a four game stretch in which he hit a home run a game.

His game last night, May 25, was nothing short of remarkable: 5-5, 2 doubles, 2 runs and 4 RBIs. It looks as if A-rod is out to prove that he never needed those steroids after all. He never needed them to hit all of those home runs, although his home run production certainly takes a leap during his Texas years. It will be interesting to follow A-rod's road to redemption as he proves that all he needs to be successful is his sweet swing and exceptional hitting dynamics. That is what makes him the home run powerhouse and RBI machine that he is- he never needed steroids.

Written By Danny Hobrock

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