Tuesday, June 23, 2015


It's been a long road for Alex Rodriguez. He has not had an easy career. He came into the MLB very young, and incredibly talented. The media and fans hated him just for existing. Add that to the choices he's made, and ARod has had to overcome some seemingly impossible obstacles.

If you would have told me a year ago today that ARod would have returned and taken the role he has, on and off the field, I would have laughed at you. Not that I am an avid ARod 'hater.' I haven't waved an anti-ARod flag. I know what he has done, and I think it's awful that someone as talented as him would feel like they had to resort to steroids to be a contender. But I also believe he has served his punishment. I'm just not naive enough to believe that others agree with me. I know the amount of contempt feel towards him. I know there are some who will not only not forgive him, but attack his character mercilessly. So, the fact that he is in the place that he is now, is incredible.

ARod, who had never received much love in the Bronx with the exception of 2009, is suddenly greeted warmly, and cheered on by fans. It really is a pleasant surprise. New York fans... whatever we feel for a player, we feel it deeply. So for fans to be able to embrace ARod as they are doing so far, is proof that he is changed, or is at least trying to.

This has been a season where he has been doing all the right things. From his responses on interviews, to his performance at the plate. After ARod reached his 3,000 hit, Michael Kay had an interesting perspective. To paraphrase, ARod is someone who has always loved the game. It is all he's every know, and he is a true fan. Because of his actions, he had the game taken away from him. He didn't spend a year away of his own violation, he was forced away, as a result of the things he has said and done. And perhaps that has awakened a new love, appreciation and respect for the game.

You can see the change in him. At the plate, he is more comfortable. He's always had one of the sweetest swings in the game, but in years past, it's almost like he was at war with himself. He would take big, choppy swings. His swings this season are more fluid, almost effortless. With the media he is more humbled and appreciative. With the fans, he is more grateful.

Since hitting #3,000, he has taken to social media to share his love and joy with his fans.

"Such an amazing weekend. Thank you for your faith in me and your unbelievable support this season, in the stands and here on Facebook. Eternal grateful."

Alex knows. He knows what the media has said about him, and he knows what some fans think about him. And his only concern is to address those who have faithfully supported him through it all. Last year, if you would have told me this would happen, I would have pointed to some choice statements he made. But maybe Kay is right. Maybe the season off has humbled him in a way none of us expected. He's acknowledging that he needs the support of fans. He's acknowledging that he has received a lot of it, despite how some people feel.

I'll never claim Alex's innocence. But, like Casey has said, the guy is not a murderer. And, he's trying his hardest. That's all any of us could ask for. Keep pushing, Alex. Remember, mistakes do not define you. How you keep on going after those mistakes do. You're doing well.

--Erica Morales BYB Senior Writer 
Twitter: @e_morales1804


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