Rodriguez should value second chance after suspension

After a year away from the game, the New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez is back.

Rodriguez was suspended because he got caught in a lie. Although he said he was not using performance-enhancing drugs, the truth came out. He was supposed to be suspended for a longer time period, but he was able to get the ban reduced after fighting to play again.

It didn’t take long for Rodriguez to get back into the swing of things. On Thursday against the Blue Jays, he hit his 655th career home run. This makes him only five home runs away from Willie Mays, who is ranked fourth on the all-time home run list.

The issue is that many of Rodriguez’s previous home runs could have been because he was using performance-enhancing drugs. Does this mean that they should disregard previous ones? Not necessarily. Although what he did should not be condoned, people make mistakes.

The star Yankee has been given another chance. It’s up to him to determine how he handles it.

Keep in mind that Rodriguez is just a human like everyone in the world, athlete or not. It’s okay to make mistakes every now and then. It’s human nature to give people second chances.

Whether he regrets doing the drugs or not is his own personal issue to handle. He just can’t screw up again. Eventually, those extra chances will run out and he’ll be done for.

As for surpassing Mays in the all-time home run list, there are mixed emotions as to whether or not he should be recognized for doing so. San Francisco Giants’ Barry Bonds has come forward publicly saying that he will celebrate when Rodriguez hits that 660th home run. Bonds is also Mays’ godson and ahead of him on the list as well.

Although Bonds doesn’t have the cleanest history in the game of baseball, he did have a good point. Rodriguez passing Mays on the list does not have any reflection on Mays himself. Records change over time as athletes come and go. This doesn’t mean Mays or anyone else who will eventually fall off any record list wasn’t a great athlete.

If he does pass Mays, Rodriguez is supposed to get a large bonus. However, it is said that the Yankees do not want to pay him that bonus. If Rodriguez makes a huge deal out of this, then he is in the wrong. He’s made enough money over time as it is. He needs to show that he’s actually grateful for this second chance.

So far, Rodriguez has done a good job of showing he’s trying to move on from the suspension. He’s already stepped up for the Yankees and got away from his comfort zone at third base and played at first when he was needed. If he keeps this up, maybe he’ll regain the respect he lost from many baseball fans.

He’s no Derek Jeter, former Yankee teammate, who seemed flawless in the game of baseball; he’s the opposite. He’s flawed and has made mistakes. It’s what makes him interesting, and where he goes from here is what is important.

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