Red Sox Ready If Alex Rodriguez Makes History?


What if New York Yankees prodigal son Alex Rodriguez actually hits home run number 660 in the cathedral of Boston? How will the Boston Red Sox and their fans react?

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With A-Rod sitting on 659 home runs, he is primed to tie Willie Mays for fourth all-time. However, Scott Lauber of The Boston Herald reported, yesterday, that people should not expect a big tribute for the much-vilified Yankee “because it’s stained by illegal performance-enhancing drugs. Even the Yankees aren’t celebrating. Quite the contrary, actually. Rodriguez’ contract calls for a $6 million bonus each time he moves up the all-time homer list, and the Yanks are trying to get out of paying on the grounds that they’re unable to promote his tainted achievements.”

According to Lauber, even Yankees manager Joe Girardi seems not to care as much about the record as maybe another manager would, if the player was anyone other than A-Rod. “‘There’s going to be a lot of different opinions on this 660 and when he passes Willie,’ Girardi told reporters this week. ‘Barry (Bonds) went through it. The reality is, it’s 660 home runs. I don’t know what you say, but when you look in the record books, his name is going to be there.'”

Antonio Mendes, of our brother-site, reported that “until the moment comes, Joe thinks [Rodriguez] should ‘lay low’, but knowing how the media is with Alex, that has never gone well.” That intentional understatement is one for the year. With the amount of highly-documented publicity that the PED scandal, his suspension last season, and his continued conversation about the topic at the start of the 2015 season, the Yankees will likely wish all of the attention went away.

However, the fact that it may happen in Fenway Park may not be something for Red Sox Nation to worry about. Put the obvious talent aside for a minute. Of course he could hit a home run; it’s A-Rod. However, considering that he is only hitting .203 on grass, this season, with a .241 average at away games, Rodriguez will have to beat those odds against Justin Masterson, Wade Miley, and Joe Kelly: three Red Sox pitchers who like to get grounders for outs. The only way that the home run will happen is if any of those three starters falter early, leaving it for the bullpen to serve up a fat pitch over the plate. While the Red Sox starters have been known to not last very long in games, recently, it is highly unlikely that any of Boston’s pitchers would allow a fastball near his wheelhouse in Fenway Park, so early in the season, when wins are important but losses are not as devastating as what that home run would mean to Red Sox and Yankee fans.

A-Rod does have 5 home runs already, this season, but, in his last 10 games, he only has a single long ball. Anything can happen. The odds are against him. It makes for fascinating theater. However, even if it happens, the likelihood that the home run is well-received by either set of fans is as likely that they were not going to destroy the ball that beat the Cubs, during the Steve Bartman controversy.

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