You have to admit that today’s column title, The Mystery of A-Rod and the Meaningless Milestone, sounds as if Franklin W. Dixon wrote it. Now while I know that both the Australian comic Peter Meisel and antiquarian Glenn Horowitz are aware of who Dixon was (or wasn’t), but for the rest of you who might be Googling sports pages in the hopes of finding this reporter, Franklin W. Dixon was the pen-name and sole credited author on all the books of the Hardy Boys books.
Edward L Stratemeyer (1862-1930) was the brains behind all these mystery books for young readers. He was the publisher and created the outlines for a number of the stories and he then hired writers to create the books, all using the pseudonym of Dixon (where the hell is Stratemeyer when I need him?). I think Stratemyer would have found this to be an appealing mystery
So, back to our story, The Mystery of A-Rod and the Meaningless Milestone.
Brothers Frank and Joe Hardy (by the way, as long as I have you, you might as well learn (or be reminded, I’m sorry I didn’t mean to be pedantic) that Joe Hardy was the name of the great baseball player that Joe Boyd became in Douglass Wallop’s fun book, The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant later reaching renown on Broadway as Damn Yankees) have been on the prowl trying to find baseball fans who really care about Alex Rodriguez hitting his 600th homer. They have found no problem finding media folks, they just went to the MLB Network and MLB.com and they seemed to be excited about it.
Then again, they also went to the zoo and discovered a herd of ostriches that seemed to be engaged as well.
It seems as if the Hardy Boys have found that to be actually caring about A-Rod becoming the seventh player in MLB history to hit 600 homers requires finding people whose self-interests are expanded as a result of the feat or who have had their heads in the ground.
The fact is that Rodriguez is already the seventh player in history to hit 599 homers and one more homer just gives him another home run in a career that has been tarnished by performance enhancing drugs. There are 25 players on the list of 500+ homers and that was a group that at one time meant something as well, but now has been watered down, or juiced up which is a better description.
I can live with Willie McCovey, Ted Williams, and Frank Thomas all finishing with 521 homers and tied for 18th place. In fact, that really feels good. But Rafael Palmiero with 569 ahead of Foxx, Schmidt and Mantle, turns my stomach.
If there is a killer that the Hardy Boys might find who murdered this milestone of 600, his name is
Sammy Sosa, who in the first 1088 games of his career, hit 207 homers and in the next 787 games, hit 292. I know you expected me to find Barry B*nds to be the guilty party here, but he was simply a red herring. I believe that Bonds was a good enough player on his own to reach, or come close, to 600 homers without the help of B*nds.
So if you care, A-Rod has had 19 plate appearances since hitting #599. As for me, when he hits, he hits it, and I’ll only be interested if it’s a walkoff.
The Hardy Boys did it again. Case solved.
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