Mariners Editorials: My Thoughts on A-Rod’s 3000th Hit

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I’m a Seattle Mariners fan who used to live in Seattle. I’m a Mariners fan that used to love Alex Rodriguez.

I’m now a Seattle Mariners fan who lives in New York. I’m a Mariners fan who has hated Alex Rodriguez for years.

I’m a Seattle Mariners fan who cried my eyes out when A-Rod left the M’s following the 2000 season. I’m a Seattle Mariners fan who thought that A-Rod was the scum of the earth well into my 20s. Now, at 25, I’m sitting back and reflecting: What do I think of A-Rod’s career now? What do I think of him? What do I make of his 3,000th hit, this shot off Justin Verlander?

My thoughts, in no particular order:

1. For all the comparisons when they were younger players with the Mariners and Yankees, to all the conflict surrounding their relationship in New York, I find it incredibly appropriate that Alex Rodriguez hit a home run for his 3,000th hit — just like Derek Jeter did.

2. I no longer hate Alex Rodriguez. He’s not in a huge position to hurt me, the fan, or the Mariners anymore. I’m actually kind of rooting for him to end his career on a positive note, and he’s doing that thus far. I hate myself for thinking this way, but I guess I’m maturing.

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3. A-Rod is one of three players (Hank Aaron/Willie Mays) to have 3,000 hits and 600 home runs. That’s incredible.

4. Do I care about this? Not really. A-Rod’s career has been so segmented into different parts, that I can’t piece them all together in my mind. To me, his greatest legacy won’t be his statistics, it will be the stain he left on the game, and how he ultimately responded. To now, he’s responded positively.

5. How will I ultimately remember Alex Rodriguez? That’s a loaded question…

Jun 1, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners fans hold signs referring to a steroid suspension last season of New York Yankees designated hitter Alex Rodriguez (not pictured) during the fifth inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

—He is the guy who took away my sports ignorance. He is the guy who opened my eyes that sports was about a business, and not about the love of the game.

—I’ll remember that he jaded my fandom for this reason. He’s the guy who made me realize how important money was in sports.

—I won’t remember his time in Texas. The numbers he put up. How bad the Rangers were. I won’t remember his early tenure with the Yankees, either. I’ll remember the shortstop with the Mariners who revolutionized the position, who could hit, who could run. I’ll remember the A-Rod that went 40/40 and led the M’s to the playoffs in 2000, when Junior was no longer there.

—I’ll remember the 2000 ALCS against the Yankees, when I went to my first playoff game. A-Rod homered in Game 1, and I was there to see it.

—I’ll remember that A-Rod made a mockery of the game, but I’ll also remember that he came back from it.

Ultimately, I’ll remember that Alex Rodriguez used to be my favorite player. He broke my heart. I hated him. And then I got over it.

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