Alex Rodriguez has passed Willie Mays for fourth place on Major League Baseball’s all-time home run list with a third inning home run off Chris Tillman of the Baltimore Orioles. Rodriguez took Tillman’s 1-1 hanging changeup to deep centerfield to give the New York Yankees a 3-2 lead. The home run came two innings after Rodriguez was robbed of a three-run home run by a leaping Delmon Young (yes, you read that correctly).
With that 661st home run, Rodriguez takes sole possession of the fourth place slot on the home run leaderboard behind Babe Ruth (714), Hank Aaron (755), and Barry Bonds (763). Rodriguez had not homered since his pinch hit home run broke a 2-2 tie in the eighth inning of Friday’s game against the Boston Red Sox.
Rodriguez’s seventh home run of the season prompted a standing ovation from the Yankee Stadium crowd, who have warmed to Rodriguez due largely to the fact that he has produced fairly well since returning from his Biogenesis exile. Rodriguez received a lukewarm reception on Opening Day, but has been greeted more favorably since. Rodriguez is second on the team in both home runs and runs batted in behind Mark Teixeira.
There is of course, still the little matter of Rodriguez’s $6 million milestone home run bonus to be resolved. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has publicly stated that the club does not have to exercise the right to market the home run, which would trigger Rodriguez’s bonus. The Yankees added five milestone home run bonuses each worth $6 million to the 10-year, $275 million contract Rodriguez signed in 2007. The Yankees organization stands behind the belief that Rodriguez’s admission to using performance enhancing drugs has rendered his milestones unmarketable. Rodriguez himself has not publicly commented on the bonuses.