Those 33 HR enabled Rodriguez to pass Willie Mays in 2015. Only 13 more and Rodriguez will reach 700. 28 HR in 2016 will put Rodriguez past Babe Ruth.
But what if Rodriguez hits 30 in 2016 and then another 30 in 2017? That would have seemed ludicrous one year ago, that Rodriguez might hit 30 HR in each of the three remaining years on what was then seen as an onerous contract. Now it still seems difficult but not impossible.
Let's say that Rodriguez does that and is sitting at 747 HR after his contract expires following the 2017 season. It takes two to tango. If Rodriguez is still healthy, is there any doubt that he would want to play another season and go for the record that had seemingly been taken away from him by commissioner Allan Huber "Bud" Selig and his master prosecutor and successor Rob Manfred, the A-Rod Slayer? And what of the Yankees? Wouldn't Rodriguez be sufficiently rehabilitated by then to be offered another contract, this one for a single year?
And how would baseball fans view all this? That Rodriguez is a cheating usurper who deserves nothing? Or that despite all, it's really amazing that Rodriguez could still break the record, that the one year suspension had cleansed Rodriguez and made up for whatever advantage Rodriguez might have gained by cheating?
We fans don't have much sense when it comes to home runs. We still consider totals way more than we should. Even something as basic as opportunities are overlooked. Rodriguez has almost 2,000 more at bats (AB) than Babe Ruth and 494 more than Barry Bonds. If Rodriguez passes Bonds, Rodriguez will probably have these additional AB:
That's another 1,500 AB plus the almost 500 more Rodriguez already has. It would equal about 2,000 more AB than Bonds. So if Rodriguez sets the record, what will that prove?