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$6 Million Home Run?

May 5th, 2015

File photo of Alex Rodriguez. Photo credit: Keith Allison via Wikimedia Commons

Most people would think that if you tied the record for the 4th most home runs of all-time there’d be a huge celebration.

Not so in Alex Rodriguez’s case when he did just that over the weekend. He tied baseball legend Willie Mays’ 660 home runs.

Why aren’t people celebrating this historic achievement?

Because it’s super controversial.

You can watch the home run and his interview here on Major League Baseball’s website .

A-Rod was suspended for all of last year’s baseball season for taking “performance enhancing” drugs aka steroids. They’re chemicals that make a person stronger in a way that’s not natural, giving an unfair advantage. It’s against the rules.

Fans aren’t cheering too much because they don’t think his accomplishment is totally legitimate.

But perhaps worse, even the team he plays for, the New York Yankees, isn’t celebrating.

When A-Rod signed to play with them, they made a deal that he’d get $6 million every time he tied a home run record starting with Willie Mays’.

But Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman says he has no plans to pay it, arguing that  cheating  to get the record wasn’t part of the deal.

The Yankees say it’s also harder for them market the achievements with things like collectibles and memorabilia when fans don’t really want to be associated with it.

Before there was any scandal, the person who caught A-Rod’s 500th home run ball sold it for $105,000. Now, 160 home runs and an historic achievement later, experts are saying the 660 home run ball is only worth around $15,000,  according to an article in CNN Money.  That’s 80% less for a much bigger accomplishment. Not good.

A-Rod would stand to make an additional $6 million if he went on to tie Babe Ruth at 714 home runs, Hank Aaron at 755, and Barry Bonds at 762, who has the most of all-time.

Some are saying that regardless of what’s happened, A-Rod is a legitimately great player, that he’s been punished, and it’s time to forgive him and move on. Not to mention there are plenty of other baseball players accused of cheating.

Ironically, Barry Bonds, who has the most home runs of anyone, faces some of the most serious accusations. He has admitted to taking steroids … accidentally.

Critics say that if A-Rod got the $6 million bonus it would reward cheating (and send the message to little leaguers and kids who play other sports that it pays to cheat). It’s also unfair to those who didn’t cheat and didn’t break the records and don’t have the fame and money because they didn’t have an unfair advantage.

A-Rod himself was very humble in his interview after he reached his 660 home-run milestone saying: “I’m very excited. You know, a year ago today I never thought I’d be hitting home runs and helping the Yankees win and kind of being in the middle of it is fun again. But I’m thinking today of my daughters and my mom and the folks that got me here, the folks at the Boys and Girls Club where I learned to play baseball in Miami. And, just humbled.”

What do you think, should A-Rod get the $6 million bonus?

We think the Yankees and A-Rod should agree to give that money to charity. That would be a win/win for everyone.

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