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NY Times: Alex Rodriguez may eventually challenge Hank Aaron

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  • NY Times: Alex Rodriguez may eventually challenge Hank Aaron

    Aaron's Ultimate Challenger May Be a Natural After All

    The home of the Braves is at 755 Hank Aaron Drive in Atlanta. That was the address given to Turner Field, which opened in 1997 as the successor to Fulton County Stadium, which had stood next door. It was there, in 1974, that Aaron propelled an Al Downing pitch over the left-center field fence and into history.

    Aaron broke Babe Ruth's career home run record then, and for the next quarter-century nobody challenged it. Then, according to "Game of Shadows," the explosive new book by two San Francisco Chronicle reporters, Barry Bonds started using steroids. Now, Aaron's record may fall.

    Bonds enters this season as the game's most intriguing, and most vilified, character. He is 41, with 708 home runs and a right knee that required three operations last year. There is no doubting his ability to crank homers — he hit 4 in his first 16 at-bats this spring — and if he stays healthy, Aaron's record of 755 is in reach.

    But considering the curious way Bonds has improved his home-run hitting late in his career, baseball may be better off if he merely rents the record. Years from now, the owner may be the Yankees' Alex Rodriguez, who has never been linked to performance-enhancing drugs and has a renowned work ethic.

    "I've never seen anybody as physically prepared as A-Rod is every day," the Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson said. "What he does to get ready, to me, is unbelievable. The way he works out. But when you get to 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, it's a little different."

    Of course, Jackson was told, those are the years when Bonds actually improved. Jackson, who hit 563 homers and never topped 30 in a season after turning 37, was silent for a moment.

    "They don't make those vitamins anymore," he said.

    Jackson said he believed Bonds might pass Ruth, who had 714 homers, and leave Aaron's mark untouched. But Jackson acknowledged that he does not know Bonds well, and Bonds could be driven to break Aaron's mark, despite periodic hints about retirement.
    Please read Baseball Fever Policy and Forum FAQ before posting. 2007-11 CBA
    Rest very peacefully, John “Buck” O'Neil (1911-2006) & Philip Francis “Scooter” Rizzuto (1917-2007)
    THE BROOKLYN DODGERS - 1890 thru 1957
    Montreal Expos 1969 - 2004

  • #2
    I hate to say it but A-Rod does stand a very good chance of passing Hank Aaron. He already has 429 home runs all before he turned 30. Youngest to ever reach 400 home runs. And at the rate he is currentley going at he could get 800! (but that is less likley) As long as he can avoid injury or a major decline he could be come the all time home run king.
    go sox.

    Pigskin-Fever

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    • #3
      I would like to see a guy like A-Rod pass Aaron; a guy that deserves and earns it.

      I'm sure Hank would be ok with that.
      "I think about baseball when I wake up in the morning. I think about it all day and I dream about it at night. The only time I don't think about it is when I'm playing it."
      Carl Yastrzemski

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      • #4
        Originally posted by runningshoes53
        I would like to see a guy like A-Rod pass Aaron; a guy that deserves and earns it.

        I'm sure Hank would be ok with that.
        yeah much rather have him pass it than a guy like bonds.
        go sox.

        Pigskin-Fever

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        • #5
          Thanks for posting, guys/gals.

          Before, Hank had deemed that Junior would pass him. This said right in front of Junior at some press conference thing I'd rememebered a few years ago.

          Now it's Barry Bonds deemed the heir apparent.

          All he needs now is good health and keeping the fire lit. I'm sure that his teammates and fans would be fully behind him should the time come.
          Please read Baseball Fever Policy and Forum FAQ before posting. 2007-11 CBA
          Rest very peacefully, John “Buck” O'Neil (1911-2006) & Philip Francis “Scooter” Rizzuto (1917-2007)
          THE BROOKLYN DODGERS - 1890 thru 1957
          Montreal Expos 1969 - 2004

          Comment


          • #6
            While still a long ways off, I believe that ARod could definately take the home run crown, barring injury of course or a severe decline in ability. He is incredibly talented and a very hard worker. I would like to see someone like him get it, rather than someone like Bonds.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by RedSoxVT92
              yeah much rather have him pass it than a guy like bonds.
              Amazing to hear this stuff from Red Sox fans. I thought it was telling last year that when Curt Schilling was bashing A-Rod in the offseason, he also made a point to say that he respects A-Rod's baseball skills so much because it's all natural talent and hard-work (at least in Schilling's opinion, and I think he's probably good judge of who was using and who wasn't (though I'm sure rumors were abound in clubhouses all over baseball of who was using)). If Schilling, a loudmouth who will make insinuations when he knows something about something, says to me that there is nothing to know about A-Rod and steroids - that he was clean, which makes what he's done amazing. Love him or hate him, it can't be denied that A-Rod is a special baseball talent that comes around once in a generation if we baseball fans are lucky.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by DoubleX
                Amazing to hear this stuff from Red Sox fans. I thought it was telling last year that when Curt Schilling was bashing A-Rod in the offseason, he also made a point to say that he respects A-Rod's baseball skills so much because it's all natural talent and hard-work (at least in Schilling's opinion, and I think he's probably good judge of who was using and who wasn't (though I'm sure rumors were abound in clubhouses all over baseball of who was using)). If Schilling, a loudmouth who will make insinuations when he knows something about something, says to me that there is nothing to know about A-Rod and steroids - that he was clean, which makes what he's done amazing. Love him or hate him, it can't be denied that A-Rod is a special baseball talent that comes around once in a generation if we baseball fans are lucky.
                Another Red Sox fan chipping in to say that I'll cheer for ARod if he can hang around long enough to take the career HR title. I don't like the guy, but he is a truly fantastic player and I would be very surprised if he wasn't clean. I was sure excited when I thought the Bosox were going to pick him up a few years ago, although things worked out fine without him. It still kills me that he has to play 3B because of Jeter.
                I must say that I appreciate Schilling as a person 100 times more than ARod...Curt does seem to appreciate media coverage of himself (slight understatement), but he also says things that are meaningful and tend to veer somewhere near the truth. I never hear much beyond polished nothings from ARod, although I did like the bust on Jeter a few years ago that he had to live down upon joining the Yanks.
                "I throw him four wide ones, then try to pick him off first base." - Preacher Roe on pitching to Musial

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Mattingly
                  Thanks for posting, guys/gals.

                  Before, Hank had deemed that Junior would pass him. This said right in front of Junior at some press conference thing I'd rememebered a few years ago.

                  Now it's Barry Bonds deemed the heir apparent.

                  All he needs now is good health and keeping the fire lit. I'm sure that his teammates and fans would be fully behind him should the time come.
                  I still think that there must have been some basic issue with Junior's conditioning that led to his problems...interesting to me that Aaron preached the virtues of distance running to his teammates. Maybe that helped explain Aaron's longevity?
                  I'm probably not being fair to Junior, but his injury history is just amazing to me for a guy who looked to be in good shape. It's not like he had a bulging disc or something else that is commonly a long term problem.
                  "I throw him four wide ones, then try to pick him off first base." - Preacher Roe on pitching to Musial

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by hellborn
                    I still think that there must have been some basic issue with Junior's conditioning that led to his problems...interesting to me that Aaron preached the virtues of distance running to his teammates. Maybe that helped explain Aaron's longevity?
                    I'm probably not being fair to Junior, but his injury history is just amazing to me for a guy who looked to be in good shape. It's not like he had a bulging disc or something else that is commonly a long term problem.
                    I heard some rumor that "Sweet" Lou Piniella, who'd managed Junior in Seattle, said that his warmup techniques were very lacking. I don't know if it's laziness or what, but it can't possibly be lack of knowledge. Kids pay money for videos, trainers and such to keep them in shape, and that may just be for LL. Junior grew up watching baseball, from when he was a youngster in the Yankee dugout before Billy Martin kicked the kids out (which is supposedly why Junior hates the Yanks).

                    All I can say is that if muscles work at a high level, they may need to be warmed up first. If not, injury can result. I've wondered the same about Garciaparra, but his injuries came mostly around 2003 onward, right?
                    Please read Baseball Fever Policy and Forum FAQ before posting. 2007-11 CBA
                    Rest very peacefully, John “Buck” O'Neil (1911-2006) & Philip Francis “Scooter” Rizzuto (1917-2007)
                    THE BROOKLYN DODGERS - 1890 thru 1957
                    Montreal Expos 1969 - 2004

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by hellborn
                      I never hear much beyond polished nothings from ARod, although I did like the bust on Jeter a few years ago that he had to live down upon joining the Yanks.
                      I think part of A-Rod's problem with the media is that he tries to be something that he's not. I think he wants to have an image like Jeter and I think it confused him for a long time why Jeter was perceived that way and he wasn't. It just comes more naturally for Jeter whereas A-Rod seems like he's straining. I don't think A-Rod is trying to be ingenuine or a bad guy, I just think he wants to be liked, and the way he goes about it just comes across ingenuinely.

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                      • #12
                        The real queston is who will be the all time Home Run King once A-Rod and Pujols retire. When they retire, I can see Pujols and A-Rod being number one and two in all time home runs. I just wonder which player will have the top spot. Obviously, Junior was going to do it, before you know what and A-Rod is in the line to do. While still early, Pujols looks like he'll also be able to past Aaron at his current pace.

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