Dent: A-Rod's 600th is still historic

NEW YORK -- Former New York Yankee Bucky Dent acknowledged that Alex Rodriguez's 600th home run "might not have the same impact" in light of A-Rod's admitted steroid use. But Dent thinks Rodriguez's milestone is still a significant piece of baseball history.

"Well, 600 is 600," Dent said Thursday afternoon at the Yankees Clubhouse Store on Fifth Avenue, where he was making an appearance. "I know it might not be the same as if he hadn't have done those things. But it's still 600 home runs."

Rodriguez hit his 600th home run Wednesday afternoon against the Toronto Blue Jays. At 35, he is the youngest player to reach the 600 home run total. Babe Ruth was 36 when he hit No. 600. Ruth, however, did it in fewer games (2,044 vs. 2,227).

Rodriguez is now 10 home runs away from passing Sammy Sosa for sixth place on the career home run list.

Some have questioned the validity of Rodriguez's climb up the all-time home run list because he admitted using performance-enhancing drugs while playing with the Texas Rangers from 2001-2003. Rodriguez hit 156 home runs with the Rangers.

"I coached A-Rod in Texas. He's a tremendous worker [with a] great work ethic," said Dent, who was the Rangers' bench coach in 2001. "Like I said, [Rodriguez's 600th home run] might not have the same impact as it would have before.

"But, it's still 600 home runs and it's still history."

Ian Begley is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.

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