Like many others, I am not the biggest fan of Alex Rodriguez but he is an amazing talent. I once was a fan when he was played shortstop for the Seattle Mariners ages ago. Those were the days with A-Rod, Griffey, Buhner, and Edgar Martinez forming one of the more exciting lineups in baseball. But once he took the money to Texas and then to the NY Yankees, it was easy to dislike him – even if I don’t blame him at all for taking the money. But seriously, who wouldn’t? But I’m a little tired of folks that say, “It’s not about the money…and then go after the most money.”
I’d rather folks just be honest and say, “I’m looking for the most money…”
But as if A-Rod needed more reasons for people to boo him out of stadiums, reports leaked out that he tested positive for banned substances in 2003. Yesterday, he gave an exclusive interview w/ ESPN and confessed to using steroids over three seasons between 2001-2003 and profusely apologized for his stupidity, immaturity, and naivete. It doesn’t erase the facts that he cheated but it certainly matters that he came out and apologized to players, fans, and the larger world.
Why is that important?
Because I think people want to forgive. At the core, we are fans of redemption. We love the redemptive stories – even the likes of Alex Rodriguez. For those who are baseball fans, you’ll know why players like Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens will never again be in the grace of the masses. Even when given the chance to come clean, confess, apologize, and repent…they chose not to. Repeatedly.
What do you think about the Alex Rodriguez story?
I’m not necessarily short but have always wished I was taller in hopes of being a professional athlete. I have had numerous conversations with Jesus about my physical stature [5'7"] and my desire to play professional sports. To be perfectly honest, being a pastor is not my “dream job.” I feel called to be a pastor and find deep joy in my “calling.” My dream job: playing shortstop in Major League Baseball. I’d be happy with 3rd base but know I’d be relegated to 2nd base because of my mediocre arm. Since Jesus has ignored my pleas for a miracle, I’m left to play fantasy sports. Sad. Very sad.
Back to A-Rod: Prior to the admission of cheating, he would have easily cracked my list of Top 5 players of All-Time and who knows where he’d end up on the list of the greatest players.
Here’s my top 5 players of all time:
- 5. Ted Williams [best pure hitter]
- 4. Hank Aaron [most underrated player?]
- 3. Babe Ruth [what if he pitched full time as well?]
- 2. Barry Bonds * [what can you say]
- 1. Willie Mays [best all around player]
I know. Bonds is no longer my #2. I just don’t know what to do with him but he simply can’t be placed on my Top 5 anymore.
I’m biased towards Mays because of his SF connection but his stats are awe inspiring – like the others in the top 5. The guy was in the All Star Game 24 times. Had incredible power as testified by his 660 homers. He would have hit more had it not been for a 1.5 year stint to the Army. He would have at least, in my opinion, broken Babe Ruth’s record. Career numbers are stunning: .302 average, 3,283 hits, 660 homers, 2,062 runs, 1,903 RBIs, 12 Gold Gloves, and 338 SBs.
After watching A-Rod’s interview, I was thinking to myself how much more incredible Hank Aaron’s career and home runs seem now. 755 homeruns. Each and every one of them clean and pure. Amazing.
Who’s in your Top 5?