"That's good. Tell him good luck," Mays told the Daily News shortly after A-Rod clocked Shaun Marcum's 2-0 pitch over the center-field wall, putting the third baseman 60 behind Mays. "I got there a long time ago."And now for something completely different via David Wells:
"I've said that once he hit it, everything was going to be fine," added Mays. "I'm sure there was a little pressure. He probably didn't want to admit that. I know about that when I was going through the same thing. He'll be fine. He's been a good player for a long time."
Mays cut off any questions about A-Rod's record being viewed as tainted after Rodriguez admitted last year to using PEDs while he played for Texas from 2001-03.
"You called about the hit and I've talked about that," said Mays, 79. "We need to support him."
"It takes away from it," says David Wells, who along with Ramon Ortiz and Bartolo Colon has allowed the most homers to Rodriguez, eight apiece. "Normally, I'm fired up about people getting those milestone numbers, pitcher or hitter, but this just takes away from it. It'll be just another number for me and, if you're dirty, it's not going to be the same for most fans, either."The fact that Mays, and many other guys from his era, are so forgiving still surprises me.
"How much of that stuff helped him out?" Wells says. "That's what gets me. He's put up a lot of big numbers against a lot of people and made a lot of money. Is it fair he has that contract? How much was legit? That's the bigger picture."
I was happy for A-Rod yesterday, but I can't say I felt the same way I did about his 500th since I now know he cheated. At that point, he was going to be the guy to clean up the record books. Now, he's just another name on the list connected to steroids. Either way, I'm just glad he finally hit it and that the Yankees can now move on and focus on winning.
What are your thoughts on A-Rod's 600th?