"The only way to comprehend what mathematicians mean by Infinity is to contemplate the extent of human stupidity."
I've long felt that above quote could be paraphrased as follows when talking to baseball fans:
"The only way to comprehend what mathematicians mean by Infinity is to contemplate the extent of stupidity expressed in the New York newspapers' sports pages."
Today's Joel Sherman article, A-Rod HRs help, hurt Yankees, is a perfect example. Sherman says the following about A-Rod's pursuit of the all-time HR record:
"It would be best for both team and player if Rodriguez gets in the left lane and passes every one of those historic figures while it also looms as a dreadful proposition for all involved."
The reason Sherman considers it a "dreadful proposition" is because of A-Rod's admission of PED usage for a few years when a Texas Ranger. The evidence he cites is that a parade did not break out when A-Rod tied Ken Griffey at 630 HRs:
"There was no confetti. No sustained applause. No waiting call of congratulations from Griffey."
Earth to Joel Sherman: no one cares about Ken Griffey Jr.'s all-time HR ranking of 5th. Every time someone gets passed on a list is not parade-worthy. For example, I don't recall a celebration occurring after Griffey passed Frank Robinson to move into 6th place in 2007.
I will make a few bold predictions regarding what will happen in the real world if A-Rod breaks the all-time HR record:
- If A-Rod passes Bonds, Aaron, and Ruth, it means he will be contributing to a lot of Yankee wins over the next several seasons.
- Contributing to a lot of Yankee wins should make A-Rod kind of popular.
- That level of popularity will make breaking these records a fun event for Yankee fans.
If you need evidence, look at the video of A-Rod's 600th HR. This occurred the season after A-Rod admitted his PED use. The fan reaction does not exactly strike me as an example of a "dreadful proposition."
All it really means is that like most of the beat writers, Joel Sherman often projects his own feelings onto fans. A perfect example is Sherman's reaction to A-Rod's 600th HR:
"Alex Rodriguez never is going to be fully a Yankee. He never is going to be fully appreciated as a clean homer giant. He never is going to be beloved in a Hank Aaron kind of way."
Contrast that observation to the video linked above, which shows the response of actual paying Yankee fans to #600. The extended standing ovation is an odd way for fans to express their disapproval of A-Rod's supposed lack of "True Yankee-ness."
Thinking about this inspires me to one last bold prediction: The Joel Shermans of the baseball media will write of the record-breaking moment being a "dreadful proposition". This is so predictable that this group should just stay home if and when A-Rod is sitting on his 763rd HR,since they will write the same article regardless of whether or not they actually see the event.