NEW YORK -- It's not THE home run record, but it is a home run record.
And now Alex Rodriguez owns it.
Like it or not.
A-Rod hit his 24th grand slam Friday night against the Giants, breaking a tie with Lou Gehrig and giving him the most all-time. Given that Jason Giambi is next on the active list with 14, it's a record that Rodriguez is going to hold for a while.
For years, the thought was that Rodriguez would one day challenge Barry Bonds' career home run record. For a while, there was even some talk -- naive, as it turned out -- that he might make the record "clean."
Now, of course, any A-Rod record is tainted, too. It's hard to think that anyone is excited about watching him climb the list.
Friday's home run off George Kontos was the 654th of Rodriguez's career, leaving him six shy of Willie Mays for fourth place. With only eight games remaining after Friday, Rodriguez is unlikely to catch Mays this season -- and with a pending suspension, he may not get a chance to catch him next year, either.
But he has one record. He has the grand slam record. He has Lou Gehrig's record.
"Obviously, I'm a huge Lou Gehrig fan," A-Rod said. "He's kind of like the gold standard as a Yankee."
It's hard to imagine anyone saying that about Alex Rodriguez.