Is A-Rod Still a Great Player?

James BaxterContributor IFebruary 13, 2009

Alex Rodriguez is perhaps this generation's best player, period.  He does everything with relative ease and is currently the standard by which all players are measured. 

But along the way to staking that claim, he made mistakes: doing steroids from 2001-2003, among other things. But after further review of the statistical numbers of those three years, his overall numbers aren't that far off from his 1993-2000 or 2004-2008 campaigns. 

By having a chance to view his overall numbers from each of those campaigns, it has led me to this revelation:  A-Rod is a great player who didn't need to do what he did those three years.  With that said, the steroids only boosted his home run total by maybe four or five in each of those three seasons. 

I understand that people are looking at this article—specifically my assertions about Rodriguez's marginal home run uptick—and going, "Huh?"  Let me explain.  As we all know, Rangers Ballpark in Arlington is a hitter's paradise and a pitcher's hell. That key fact—more than anything else—contributed to A-Rod's increased production during those seasons in Texas. 

He would likely have put up good numbers anyway, because frankly, he Rodriguez is just that good. This isn't Brett Boone (a good player in his own right) we're talking about here.  A-Rod put up numbers even in Seattle's pitcher-friendly Safeco Field and is currently putting up numbers at Yankee Stadium (now demolished), a park that was murder on right-handed hitters because of its Death Valley-like dimensions in left field.

There isn't any reason that, barring injury or some other unforseen circumstances, Rodriguez can't be the new Home Run King by the time he decides to hang them up.  Love, hate, or crucify A-Rod, he is without question the most talented player in the majors right now.