Rounding Third: A-Rod continues to surprise

( - The biggest surprise in baseball isn't the Houston Astros or the New York Mets.

It's not even the Minnesota Twins, although if they are still doing what they are doing a few weeks from now, they just might be.

Right now, though, there is nothing more eye-opening than what Alex Rodriguez is doing in the Bronx.

Rodriguez, of course, missed all of last season serving a suspension for his role in the Biogenesis scandal and only appeared in 44 games the previous season due to a myriad of injuries, none bigger than his recovery from a second hip surgery.

Oh, and he's set to turn 40 on July 27.

Most assumed, while others hoped - including some in the New York Yankees organization - that he'd fall flat on his face, but Rodriguez has been one of the driving forces behind the team's ascent in the American League East standings, hitting .276 with 11 home runs and 26 RBI.

There may be an awful lot of baseball left, but he's among the top designated hitters in the league. Admit it, you did not see that coming.

"I haven't played a lot of baseball in the last two years, but I feel like I'm in a good place, I'm happy. I'm having fun," Rodriguez said.

On Wednesday, whether you like it or not, Rodriguez further entrenched himself into Major League Baseball's record books, as his three-run home run not only helped the Yanks to another win, but it also gave him 1,995 RBI for his career, two more than Yankee legend Lou Gehrig and into sole possession of third place on baseball's all-time list.

Rodriguez is one RBI shy of Barry Bonds' total and 302 short of the MLB leader, Hank Aaron (2,297).

"You see the guys that he's passing and it's really pretty amazing," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of A-Rod.

Technically, Babe Ruth also has more RBI than everyone except Aaron, but Elias, which is the official statistician of MLB, discounts his RBI before 1921, so his total stands at 1,992 rather than the 2,214 most credit him with.

Whatever. You can argue that all you like, but the story is Rodriguez seems to be doing just fine, much to the chagrin of some of the Yankees' brass.

And there are still a few milestones in his sights. You don't need Elias to tell you Rodriguez is now five RBI shy of 2,000, but he's also just 20 hits short of reaching 3,000.

Boy, the Yankees really played up that whole Derek Jeter run to 3,000. Remember DJ3K? You'd have to think the A-Rod chase will be one to remember, right?

Umm, no.

Expect the Yankees' PR staff to put out a nice little Tweet congratulating him, as it did on Wednesday. Who knows, maybe the team will really get crazy and address it on the scoreboard at some point, or heck, maybe even put it in the game notes.

It's understandable why the Yankees aren't addressing Rodriguez's feats. They had to be stat-shamed into mentioning the fact he had passed Willie Mays on the all-time home run list.

As petty as it may have seemed, the Yankees, of course, had reason to downplay it, as they are on the hook for $6 million for that milestone, and they will probably have to go to court over the whole issue.

And, yes, Rodriguez used illegal steroids, other performance-enhancing drugs, probably drank deer urine, some sort of illegal tic-tacs, essentially whatever would have given him an advantage.

Can we please just move on, though? He's not taking anything now, right?

I mean, he can't be, right?

Regardless, given what some athletes in other sports are up to, Alex Rodriguez doesn't seem all that bad.

Now we just have to figure out how MLB is going to prevent him from being named the league's comeback player of the year.