While most of the collecting world has been obsessing over the Cubs and their new, baby faced power-hitter, Kris Bryant … I have been quietly enjoying the rebirth of Arod. Although it’s extremely early into the season, Rodriguez has been one of the best hitters in baseball all while missing the entire 2014 season, playing on rebuilt body parts, and being 39 years of age.
Suddenly, one of the most hated baseball players of all time (sorry, Jose) is an underdog figure who had a good chance to surpass the Home Run King and retire as the greatest slugger of all time. Even if his numbers are tarnished, so are Bonds’ but there is something bigger at play. The Steroid era is over and done with. Guys are no longer hitting 50+ home runs a year. It’s very likely that we will never again see a guy hit 600 home runs, and 500 home runs will too become a rarity if testing continues to be implemented.
So with every home run Kris Bryant hits, every card that’s released by card companies to exploit this newest phenom, I’ll be rooting for the old man with the bad hip to continue doing what he’s done his whole career, legally and illegally, mashing home runs. He may not keep this pace much longer but so long as he remains healthy and in a MLB line up, we may see something special in a couple of years. King or not, once Arod is gone … the steroid era of baseball will forever be buried and someday even forgotten. There will always be new cheaters but not on the level of what we saw in the 90’s and beyond. Only time and a little luck will tell us if Arod is the greatest cheater of all time or just another Jose Canseco.