Finally, the attention and live at-bats come to an end. Alex Rodriguez blasted his 600th career home run off the arm of Shaun Marcum in Yankee Stadium Wednesday. The baseball world and media can now move on to something else.

Frankly, I was becoming sick of hearing about A-Rod and when it’s going to happen, mostly because the topic of steroids always came up. I haven’t talked about steroids too much on CL, because the league finally has installed a decent steroid testing policy. Second, we just don’t know, and never will, all the facts related to steroids, HGH, performance-enhancing drugs, etc.

A-Rod’s name and stellar career will forever be linked to steroids after he admitted in 2009 that he took some form of steroids early in the decade. So now when accomplishments like his 600th home run comes up, pundits will say he’s a cheater and argue until they are blue in the face that he should not be in the record book, or with an asterisk, etc.

Are they wrong? A-Rod did knowingly take steroids along with our superstars to get an edge. So they are not necessarily wrong on that point. The problem I have with what to do with the record books and how these players are viewed is we still do not know a lot of things about steroids. Here’s what I know about steroids:

– We know some players have taken steroids in baseball. We do not know who exactly.

– While steroids are known to give players an edge, it has not been proven how much steroids factor in to a player’s ability to hit doubles, home runs and recover from injury. How much of a player’s overall numbers are from raw talent and hard work as compared to steroids? Does steroids help your bat speed? No one has the answer to that.

– Even the players that tested positive in the past couple of seasons of testing, we do not know how long they were on them and what impact they caused.

– Hitters are not the only ones to have taken steroids. Pitchers have taken them before too. What is the effect on pitchers who are using? Once again, we do not know.

With all that said, A-Rod’s accomplishment should be celebrated as the great feat that it is. Only seven players in the history of baseball are in the 600 home run club. You don’t just get there by shooting some drug into your arm especially when we’re not even sure of the effects from it. Endurance, will power and talent all play a part to get to this club. Anyway, the A-Rod 600 hunt is over. Now, on to your regularly scheduled baseball season.

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