Alex Rodriguez hit his 24th home run of the season last night, on his 40th birthday, in the New York Yankees' 91st game of the season. He now has 59 RBI to go with his 24 homers, which puts him on pace for 43 home runs and 106 RBI, which would be his best season since 2007, when he hit 54 homers and drove in 156 runs.
Rodriguez was 32 years old then, eight years younger than he is now. And he hadn't just sat out an entire season. And, well ... I'm just sayin'.
And I think you know what.
No one I've noticed has said it -- most of the major talking heads are more prone to mulling whether or not it would be appropriate to name him the Comeback Player of the Year -- but surely we're all thinking it, right? Surely we're all wondering how a guy with his track record has, at the age of 40, turned the clock back eight years and become a reasonable facsimile of what he was in 2007. And done it, at 40, after missing an entire season because of, yes, his issues with PEDs.
Is it unfair now to wonder if he's still having issues with them?
Is it throwing cold water on a marvelous story of redemption to raise a skeptical eyebrow at that story, given that we're dealing with a multiple offender here?
If it is, it's because of our natural inclination is not to spoil a good story, and, absent his history, Rodriguez' twilight resurgence is a good story. It is about redemption, after all. It is about regaining the love for the game, to hear Rodriguez tell it, and in so doing win back the love of fans who had seemingly abandoned him for good.
Once upon a time they booed him, or just ignored him. But, lord, do they cheer him now down there in the Bronx.
Absent Rodriguez' history, it's the best story of this baseball summer.
But of course, that history will never truly be absent. It is a permanent shadow, and it will follow Rodriguez for the rest of his days. That is his enduring punishment -- not for juicing, but for being so unrelentingly untruthful about it.
The old saying, after all, still pertains: If something seems too good to be true, it usually is.
Especially when the person doing that something has had so many issues with what is true.