New York Yankees: 661 is a very big deal for Alex Rodriguez


Whether the New York Yankees want to admit it or not, 661 homeruns for Alex Rodriguez is a big deal.

On Thursday night against Chris Tillman of the Baltimore Orioles, Alex Rodriguez was able to pass Willie Mays on the all-time homerun list. No. 660 came in enemy territory against the Boston Red Sox, but Rodriguez was able to pass Mays at in a friendlier Yankee Stadium.

661 looked like it was going to be coming in the first inning, but Orioles’ outfielder Delmon Young had other plans. On a fly ball to right field, Rodriguez looked to have passed Mays, but Young would make a leaping catch at the wall to rob Rodriguez of history.

In the third inning, Rodriguez would make history on a 1-1 changeup from Tillman, which Rodriguez sent over the wall in center field. The homerun from Rodriguez made history, but it also was an important one in the game, as it broke a tie game at the time.

With the big battle between Rodriguez and the Yankees coming over his $6 million bonus, the Yankees had a brief mention of him surpassing Willie Mays on the scoreboard.

“What scoreboard?” Rodriguez said to Dan Martin of the New York Post. “No, I didn’t see anything.”

Yankees’ general manager Brian Cashman has already said that the Yankees will not be paying Rodriguez the bonus. Rodriguez has been low-key on the matter, as he will likely be letting the MLB Players Association handle the matter.

The crowd however was very affectionate towards Rodriguez, as they demanded a curtain call.

“It’s been a long time,” Rodriguez said afterwards. “I actually thought the days of curtain calls for me were long gone. I was a little embarrassed. It was a little awkward. I did not want to interrupt the game.”

Passing Mays will likely not be the last milestone that Rodriguez will be passing, as he is nearing a few others. Rodriguez is just 10 RBIs away from passing Lou Gehrig and Barry Bonds on the all-time RBI list. 2,000 career RBIs is also right in sight for Rodriguez, as he is just 13 RBIs away from that major milestone.

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This summer, Rodriguez will also be joining the 3,000 hits club, as he is just 38 hits away.

The big obstacle for Rodriguez in reaching more milestones will be his health. So far this season, Rodriguez has been mostly playing DH, which certainly seems to be keeping his fresh and healthy so far.

This season, Rodriguez wasn’t expected to be playing as well as he is. The Yankees’ lineup is a lot better than last season, as Rodriguez has proved to be a middle of the order hitter still. Along with Mark Teixeira, Rodriguez has helped provide the power for the Yankees’ lineup.

The quest for Bonds’ all-time homerun record will be the ultimate goal for Rodriguez, but helping the Yankees win is the more pressing matter. New York has pleasantly surprised many this season, as they are in first place in the AL East.

If Rodriguez can continue to produce for the Yankees, they have a good chance of making the playoffs, and he will continue to reach milestones. Whether Rodriguez is paid for reaching certain milestones will be a major question however.

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