- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sometime over the next few games or perhaps the next few weeks, Alex Rodriguez will find a pitch he likes and make baseball history.

His name will go up among the greats of the game. His accomplishment, though, will always stand alone.

Yes, six others are already in the 600 home run club. But how about a big hand for the first admitted steroid user to take his place among the slugging elite?

Yankee fans undoubtedly will give A-Rod just that when he becomes the youngest ever to reach the milestone. Remember, he was only juiced (or so he says) before he put on the pinstripes.

Forgive me, though, if I don’t stand up and cheer. Because we’ve all seen this act before.

A magical mark. A tainted player.

Another entry into the record books we can’t believe.

About the only thing missing is an immense, shaven head and the traveling circus that always seemed to surround it. Say what you will about Barry Bonds, he always made for good entertainment.

There’s nothing terribly entertaining about A-Rod reaching 600. It’s a joyless occasion for all but the most blinded Yankee fans.

The worst thing about it all is this: We’re now forced to begin the long countdown to 763 that seems as inevitable as it will be uncomfortable.

Having Bonds make a mockery of one of baseball’s most sacrosanct records was bad enough. But at least with Bonds there was always a shred of deniability about steroids to hang onto even if the circumstantial evidence pointed to something else.

With A-Rod, there is no guessing. He cheated and was forced to admit it.

His numbers are as bogus as some of the muscles he grew with chemical help. His legacy is as tainted as any of his fellow sluggers in the steroid era.

A-Fraud, indeed. The only question is how much of a fraud.

Would he have reached 600 by the age of 35 without steroids? Hardly.

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