Despite missing the entire 2014 season by virtue of the suspension by MLB and only playing 44 games during the 2013 season after undergoing left hip surgery, Alex Rodriguez’s stats in many offensive categories are among the greatest in the history of the game.
In addition to the two lengthy absences from active play Rodriguez was on the 15 day disabled list on nine occasions, yet he is second only to former teammate Derek Jeter in most games played in the years between 1995-2014. Jeter led with 2,747 games and Rodriguez followed with 2,551.
Rodriguez began his career as an 18 year old with Seattle. He remained there through the 2000 season, and then played three years with the Texas Rangers. He has been a Yankee since February 16, 2004 when he was traded for Alfonso Soriano.
At the start of the 2015 season, Rodriguez was nearing 10,000 at bats, 2,000 runs scored, 3,000 hits and 2,000 runs batted in.
Rodriguez has batted especially effectively in recent games. He ended the most recent homestand on Wednesday by batting .455 (10 for 22).
In the first of the six games on Friday, he singled in the seventh to drive in his 1,992nd run, which tied Babe Ruth for fourth placed in career runs batted in.
On a 0-1 pitch in the third inning of the final game of the homestand on Wednesday afternoon, Rodriguez hit a three run homer to left. The batter, two months short of his 40th birthday, remarked, “It was a slider. I got a pretty good swing.” His RBI total was raised to 1,995, which put him ahead of another Yankee legend, Lou Gehrig, for first place in American League history. He needs one more run batted in to tie Barry Bonds for second place, but he trails Hank Aaron by 302.
The home run was his 665th, behind only Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron and Barry Bonds in MLB history. The homer was his 11th of the 2015 season. When asked if he thought he would hit that many before June, he remarked, “No way, no chance.”
Rodriguez singled in the seventh, giving him two hits for the game. He now is only 19 hits from becoming the next major leaguer to achieve 3,000 hits. When asked if he could envisage that coming, he replied, “You can see it all when you think about it. Right now, we’re just thinking of winning.”
Yankee skipper Joe Girardi was not surprised by A-Rod’s fine showing this year, “He’s put things behind him. There’s no place he’s more comfortable than on the field and in the clubhouse.” He also feels good to see Rodriguez in the middle of the lineup with men on base.
Surprisingly to many, Rodriguez called his time away from baseball as “a blessing in disguise.” He is currently feeling very pleased with his circumstances, “I’m in a very good place now. Having fun.”
Although many do not credit Rodriguez with the numbers he has reached because of the use of PEDs, the numbers are part of the history of MLB.