Will Alex Rodriguez's 600th Home Run Make Him a True Yankee?

Reid DavenportCorrespondent IJuly 1, 2010

NEW YORK - JUNE 01:  Alex Rodriguez #13 of the New York Yankees looks on from third base in the sixth inning against the Baltimore Orioles during their game on June 1, 2010 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx Borough of New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

Alex Rodriguez's relationship with Yankee fans has been complicated.

Since his arrival to New York in 2004, he's been cheered and booed, quiet and controversial.

But then again, A-Rod's performance and accolades haven't exactly been consistent.

He's laid claim to two MVP awards as a Yankee, but has also posted an average below .270 in four straight playoff series.

He's hit 54 home runs and had 156 RBIs in a season, but has also admitted to steroid use.

Last season, Rodriguez came up big in the playoffs as the Yanks won it all, but there still seems to be a disconnect.


Usually, after a player helps win a World Series in New York, people are calling for his number to be retired.

But, I can't envision number 13 enshrined in Memorial Park anytime soon.

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Many thought that after Rodriguez helped the Yankees win the World Series, A-Rod would be up there with fan favorites like Bernie Williams, Paul O'Neil, or at least the controversial Roger Clemens.

However, with his slow power start to this season, Yankee fans seem to have climbed on his back once again.

In May, A-Rod's average dipped below .270, and he only has 12 home runs.  If he indeed makes the All-Star team, it will be based on acquired merit and not current statistics.

His personal life has been in the public eye for the majority of time he's been in the Bronx.  At times, he's been seen as isolated, arrogant and weird.

So, when Rodriguez hits his 600th home run and starts eyeing Bonds' record, will it be one step closer to him being fully accepted by Bronx fans, or will it be in vain?

If Rodriguez claims the ultimate home run crown in pinstripes, will he still not be even close to the popularity of Don Mattingly or Tino Martinez, whose numbers don't hold a candle to A-Rod's?

You don't need to be an analyst to see that A-Rod has put up numbers that surpass any other Yankee that played in the Bronx within the last decade.

Yet, he's still not a beloved Yankee.

The real question is whether his numbers will outweigh his adverse, and sometimes strange, personality.

If a quest for the ultimate record in sports doesn't do it, nothing will.