Tag Archives: Henry Aaron

Does Pujols come back once more?

I don’t follow Major League Baseball the way I did as a kid, but I am enjoying watching one of the game’s all-time greats having a fabulous “final season” to a legendary career.

Albert Pujols is back in St. Louis and is bashing the hell out of baseballs on his way to the Hall of Fame in five years — or maybe six.

He says this is the final year of a 22-season career. He has hit 694 home runs. He has more than 3,300 base hits. He struggled the past couple of seasons, but he has found his swing again.

He wants to hit 700 dingers. Here’s my thought.

What, though, might he do if he gets to, say, 699 home runs when the season ends? Does he walk away? Or does he talk to Cardinals’ head office about coming back for one more go ’round.

Think of it, he could maintain his part-time playing status but get enough at bats to go after Babe Ruth’s record of 714. He won’t catch Henry Aaron (the real home-run king) or the imposter, Barry Bonds. But the Bambino’s mark might be worth chasing.

But … if he hits the 700-HR mark when the season ends, we’ll all say goodbye to one of the all-time greats of an all-time great game.


A-Rod will get no love for passing 'Say Hey'

Alex Rodriguez is just a handful of home runs away from passing a true baseball legend’s career homer mark.

That would be Willie Mays, who finished his storied career with 660 home runs. A-Rod is just a few dingers away from that mark. The Say Hey Kid’s godson, Barry Bonds, cannot figure out why so little attention will be paid to A-Rod when he passes Mays’s mark.


I think I know why, Barry.

It’s because Rodriguez cheated to get as many home runs as he has hit, just like Bonds did.

A-Rod has admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs. He served a season-long suspension in 2014. He’s come back to the New York Yankees to resume his climb up the career home run leader board.

Bonds, of course, hit more home runs than anyone else. You’ll have to excuse this bit of petulance, but I still consider Henry Aaron to be the home run king, even though he hit 755 home runs compared to Bonds’s 762. Aaron didn’t cheat the way Bonds did. Thus, he’s still the Home Run King in my book.

As for A-Rod, it’s always been about him. He’s not a good teammate and his fellow Yankees know that about him.

The Yankees are planning no celebration when A-Rod passes Mays.

Why no love for A-Rod, Barry? It’s because he hasn’t earned it.

A-Rod to sit on bench quietly

That defiant talk by tainted baseball superstar Alex Rodriguez has been replaced by … silence.

The New York Yankees slugger and his blustering lawyer have decided to drop their lawsuit against Major League Baseball and Commissioner Bud Selig after the league suspended A-Rod for using performance enhancing drugs.

He’s going to sit out the 2014 season.

I’m more than happy that he’s decided to take his punishment, sit on the sidelines, do whatever he plans to do and avoid the embarrassment of dragging this seedy saga through the courts.

I’ve drawn only one conclusion from Rodriguez’s decision to drop the suit: He’s guilty of what’s been alleged, which is what most baseball observers have known almost since the beginning.

This story angers and saddens me all at once.

I’m angry that a young man with all that talent would allow the injection of human growth hormone and other PEDs to make him bigger and stronger. Spare me the false argument that he did only what other superstars did.

I’m sad because when Barry Bonds broke the career home run record of the real HR king — Henry Aaron — I had hope that Rodriguez would be able to break Bonds’s record because, at the time, I believe A-Rod had not used the PEDs.

For my money, Hammerin’ Hank’s record is likely to stand for a good while longer. I hope it’s forever.

Meanwhile, A-Rod, sit back and enjoy the season along with the rest of us.

MLB needs to drop hammer some more

There once was a time when I was addicted to big-league baseball.

I’d wake every morning from April through September, get the morning paper and scan the box scores for my favorite players. My actual favorite was Mickey Mantle. I’d look to see how Mick did the night before. I’d grimace if he went 0-for-4; I was joyous when he had a good night at the plate.

Those days are gone. Free agency took care of much of it for me, as players moved from team to team when their contracts were up.

Now comes the Age of Cheating, the use of performance enhancing drugs. Barry Bonds will never be the home run king. In my book, that honor belongs — still — to Henry Aaron.

When Major League Baseball suspended 2011 National League MVP Ryan Braun for the rest of the season, I was delighted to see the league taking action — finally — against the cheaters. This suspension likely will preclude Braun’s induction into the Hall of Fame.

More suspensions need to follow. I heard today that Alex Rodriguez might face a lifetime ban in the case that ensnared Braun. That’s all right, too.

MLB needs to set an example. It needs to make an example of these players who have cheated their way into the record books.

I am shedding no tears today over this development. Keep dropping the hammer.