Alex Rodriguez and 10 Cheaters' Records We Couldn't Care Less About

Doug MeadCorrespondent IJune 13, 2012

Alex Rodriguez and 10 Cheaters' Records We Couldn't Care Less About

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    On Tuesday night against the Atlanta Braves, New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez connected on a Jonny Venters pitch, lifting a line drive into the bleachers at Turner Field for a grand-slam home run.

    The blast with the bases loaded tied Rodriguez with the great Lou Gehrig for 23 round-trippers with the bases full.

    Here's the question—would the record-tying event have been more significant if it hadn't been achieved by someone who admitted using performance-enhancing drugs?

    Not to mention the fact that Gehrig achieved the feat in less at-bats (8,001 to A-Rod's 9,414), but that's not the issue at hand right now.

    Records are going to continue to be broken, and others already have. These records were broken by people who either admitted they used PEDs or were accused of using them.

    Do we care when these records are broken by alleged PED users?

    Here are 10 other records that have been broken by MLB players who have been called cheaters.

David Ortiz: Boston Red Sox Single-Season Home Run Record

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    In 2006, Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz put together a magical season, hitting 54 home runs, breaking the single-season record set by Jimmy Foxx way back in 1938.

    Ortiz was one of the names listed on a report back in 2003, and leaked to the press in 2009, that cited 96 urine samples collected from MLB players tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs. Ortiz claimed that over-the-counter supplements that he purchased were the likely culprits for the failed drug test at the time.

Mark McGwire: Record for Home Runs Hit by a Rookie

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    In 1987, Oakland Athletics rookie first baseman Mark McGwire burst onto the season, clubbing a rookie-record 49 home runs on his way to winning unanimous selection as the American League Rookie of the Year Award.

    McGwire admitted in January 2010 that he had taken performance-enhancing drugs on several occasions over a period of 10 years. However, how far back did he really start taking them?

Jose Canseco: 40/40 Club

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    Along with teammate Mark McGwire, Oakland Athletics outfielder Jose Canseco was part of the famed Bash Brothers, a tandem that helped the A's win three straight American League pennants from 1988-1990.

    In 1988, Canseco became the first player in MLB history to hit 40 home runs and steal 40 bases in the same season.

    Do we really even have to document Canseco's PED usage?

Mark McGwire: Single-Season Home Run Record

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    In 1998, St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Mark McGwire captivated the baseball world with his famed chase of the single-season home run record set by Roger Maris in 1961.

    Along with Sammy Sosa, McGwire was in hot pursuit of the record, finally breaking it by hitting his 62nd home run on Sept. 8. McGwire would go on to hit 70 home runs for the new standard.

Barry Bonds: Single-Season Home Run Record

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    Just three years after Mark McGwire set the new standard for home runs in a single season, San Francisco Giants outfielder Barry Bonds set his sights on the mark.

    In 2001, Bonds broke McGwire's record, hitting 73 long balls. On April 13, 2011, Bonds was convicted of one count of obstruction of justice when a jury determined that he had impeded a grand jury investigation into the use of performance enhancing drugs in baseball. Bonds denied that his trainer, Greg Anderson, ever injected him with steroids.

Barry Bonds: All-Time Home Run Record

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    Six years after breaking the single-season home run record, San Francisco Giants left fielder Barry Bonds broke the all-time home run record held by Hank Aaron, clubbing his 756th career home run on Aug. 7, 2007.

Rafael Palmeiro: 500/3,000 Club

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    On July 15, 2005, Baltimore Orioles designated hitter Rafael Palmeiro hit a run-scoring double off Seattle Mariners pitcher Joel Pineiro.

    It was Palmeiro's 3,000th hit, putting him in very exclusive company. He became only the fourth player in MLB history to collect 3,000 hits, along with clubbing 500 home runs (Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Eddie Murray).

    A little more than two weeks later, Palmeiro was suspended by baseball for 10 games for violating the MLB anti-drug policy, just four months after he defiantly told Congress that he had never taken performance-enhancing drugs in his life.

Roger Clemens: Single-Game Strikeout Record

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    On April 29, 1986, Boston Red Sox pitcher Roger Clemens struck out 20 Seattle Mariners in a complete-game 3-1 victory. With his performance, Clemens broke the previous record of strikeouts in one game, set by Steve Carlton (1969) and matched by Tom Seaver (1970) and Nolan Ryan (1974).

    Clemens, who was named in the Mitchell Report released in 2007, is currently awaiting his verdict in a trial accusing him of lying to Congress about using performance-enhancing drugs.

    While it's doubtful that Clemens was using PEDs back in 1986, will anyone really care?

Sammy Sosa: 3 Seasons of 60-Plus Home Runs

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    Over a four-year period from 1998-2001, Chicago Cubs right fielder Sammy Sosa hit a remarkable 243 home runs, including hitting more than 60 long balls in three of those seasons. No other player in MLB history has achieved that lofty mark.

    In 2009, Sosa was linked to a 2003 report that listed 104 players as having tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs during the season.

Manny Ramirez: Cleveland Indians Single-Season RBI Record

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    In 1999, Cleveland Indians outfielder Manny Ramirez had a mammoth season, hitting .333 with 44 HR and 165 RBI.

    His runs batted in total surpassed the previous record for the Indians set by Hal Trosky in 1936 with 162 RBI.

    Ramirez has twice been suspended for violating MLB's drug policy, the first such player suspended more than once since MLB and the player's union set up the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program in 2004.

     

    Doug Mead is a featured columnist with Bleacher Report. His work has been featured on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, SF Gate, CBS Sports, the Los Angeles Times and the Houston Chronicle. Follow Doug on Twitter, @Sports_A_Holic.