The controversial Yankees hitter keeps notching off accomplishments.
Though he is one of the most controversial New York Yankees in history, slugger Alex Rodriguez singled twice on Thursday night's game to move within one hit of becoming the 29th player in Major League Baseball to record 3,000 hits.
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Rodriguez has just returned to the game this season, because he had a 162 game suspension for doping violations. Now, he has something to prove to the naysayers.
He has now passed the iconic Willie Mays for fourth place on Major League Baseball's all-time home run ranking and has also become the American League's all-time leader in RBIs.
In last night's 9-4 win over the Miami Marlins, Rodriguez notched another RBI single for his count in the first inning and then he got another one in the fifth to take his career hits tally to 2,999 - only one away from his next milestone. The hitter had two more chances to get that illustrious hit, but he was unable to get a good pitch.
According to ESPN, the walk by Marlins pitcher Sam Dyson provoked jeers from 38,239 fans, who stood and cheered during Rodriguez's final two at-bats.
As the season is really just getting underway, he will have many more chances, and will likely see his total grow quite a bit more. Tonight will be his next chance.
However, the accomplishment is still somewhat overshadowed by what he has encountered the last few years. In fact, his last accomplishment is still in contention with his own team! The Yankees Organization has suggested that they believe that he should not get the bonus associated with overcoming Willie Mays because of his drug-tainted past. They think it takes away from his achievement. The two parties have set aside time to solve their problems, but will likely do it out of season.
With Rodriguez getting close to the hit total before last night's game, Yankees manager Joe Girardi commented that his past shouldn't overshadow what he is doing now:
"I find it very impressive that anyone can get to 3,000 hits, no matter what the circumstances are," Girardi said before the game.
He also hope that Rodriguez could do it while in his home stadium:
"I think it'll mean a lot," Girardi said. "And I think Alex is appreciative for the way the fans have treated him at home. I see him going out of his way to do things, and I think that's nice."
As for Rodriguez himself, he's remaining coy: "There's not much about 2015 I would have believed," Rodriguez said, "It's really been an incredible season. The team's playing well, my team-mates have welcomed me back. I'm really flattered and humbled to be in this position."
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