A-Rod Finally Connects for No. 600 - NBC Bay Area

A-Rod Finally Connects for No. 600

Slugger joins elite group, but steroids cast long shadow



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    Alex Rodriguez #13 of the New York Yankees salutes the crowd after hitting his 600th career home run in the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays as teammate Robinson Cano #24 looks on on August 4, 2010 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.

    Alex Rodriguez finally got home run No. 600, putting him in rare company with six other baseball legends and thrilling the home crowd at Yankee Stadium.

    The New York Yankees' third baseman struck a two-run homer to center field in the first inning, ending a 12-game, 46-at-bat drought. The historic blast came off of Toronto Blue Jays right-hander Shaun Marcum.

    Only Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Sammy Sosa and Ken Griffey Jr. have reached the milestone, and at 35, Rodriguez is the youngest player to hit 600 homers. However, like Bonds' and Sosa's totals, the feat is likely to be viewed with skepticism due to suspicion that it was aided by steroids. Before last season, Rodriguez admitted taking steroids.

    Griffey, who reached the mark in 2008, has never been connected to performance-enhancing drugs.

    Rodriguez has 17 homers on the season and is on pace for about 25. That would be a good total for most players, but would be the fewest in a season since his second year in the big leagues, when he was just 21. Baseball's highest paid player at $30 million per year, A-Rod is clearly slowing down, though he has dedicated himself to team goals and celebrated as hard as any teammate after last year's World Series championship.