Will A-Rod Get to 700 Home Runs and Should We Even Care?

Chris StephensCorrespondent IIAugust 26, 2013

TORONTO, CANADA - AUGUST 26: Alex Rodriguez #13 of the New York Yankees reacts after striking out in the eighth inning during MLB game action against the Toronto Blue Jays on August 26, 2013 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

With a solo home run in the fifth inning of Monday's game against the Toronto Blue Jays, Alex Rodriguez moved up to 650 career home runs and 10 within Willie Mays for fourth all time.

That means the New York Yankees third baseman is only 50 home runs away from 700, a place where only three have gone.

Some might be wondering if he will ever get there. Others are wondering if we should even care.

But before looking at that, let's look at what's on tap for A-Rod in the near future.


Possible Suspension

We still don't know what the final outcome will be, but Rodriguez does have a 211-game suspension hanging over his head due to the Biogenesis scandal.

While Rodriguez appeals his suspension, he's getting to play.

According to Sports Illustrated's Tom Verducci, the hearing should generally happen within 20 days of the appeal, with the arbitrator ruling within 25 days after the case is heard. Yet that hasn't been the case here.

However, union executive director Michael Weiner said immediately upon the suspension that he did not expect a resolution to A-Rod’s appeal until November or December. The JDA does allow changes to the timeline in cases with “good cause” for delays.

With that not happening until the offseason, the suspension would start in 2014 and go for however long it is—that is, assuming the suspension gets held up.

If it's the full 211 games, then Rodriguez's chances of getting to 700 home runs aren't that good considering he'll be 39 years old by the time he returns.

There's still a good chance he'll pass Mays, but he won't approach Babe Ruth's 714.


Why We Should Care

There are some people out there who could care less about what A-Rod accomplishes. All they see is him admitting to steroid use from 2001-03 while with the Texas Rangers and the recent Biogenesis investigation.

If the suspension holds up (or any suspension, for that matter), A-Rod will have been a cheater twice. That doesn't sit too well with baseball fans.

Fans are already rooting hard against Rodriguez to not even pass Mays.

While I'm not saying everyone will be ticked off if Rodriguez passes Mays (which looks as if it will happen), even more will be angry if he passes the best ever (yes, I said it).

If fans truly care about the game, keeping cheaters from places of prominence is very important. It's not only a case of right and wrong, but it's a difference in millions of dollars that these guys make by putting up these numbers.

That's why we should care about whether he passes Ruth.

Most consider there to be already one cheater (Barry Bonds) in the top three in career home runs. They couldn't bear the thought of two of the top three being cheaters.



Even if Rodriguez doesn't receive the full 211-game suspension, I don't see him getting to 700 home runs. Age is catching up to him and he no longer has PEDs in his back pocket.

I care about this because I was brought up believing cheating is wrong. And I still believe it to this day: Cheaters should not get rewarded.

I don't consider myself a gatekeeper, but letting one slip through the cracks was more than enough. Rodriguez doesn't need to be the second.

While you can't go back retroactively and take away numbers for players who cheated, I think you still have to start somewhere. 

And there's no better place to start than ensuring Rodriguez doesn't reach the 700 mark.