The most hated man in baseball, and maybe professional sports as a whole, released an apology letter to the fans of Major League Baseball early Tuesday morning. It’s a good first step, but simply enough, it’s too little, too late. If I could describe the overall fan attitude towards Alex Rodriguez in the best way I can, it would be along the lines of – please, just go away.
In the hand-written letter directed to all the fans of baseball, because at this point I don’t know if Rodriguez has any of his own, the New York Yankees third baseman takes “full responsibility for the mistakes that led to my suspension for the 2014 season.” Rodriguez goes on to say he understands the mistakes he’s made and realizes all he can do at this point is say he’s sorry.
The most accurate part of the two-page letter comes at the beginning of the second paragraph when he writes, “I accept the fact that many of you will not believe my apology or anything that I say at this point.” Spot on Mr. Rodriguez, that’s exactly what you need to accept — that’s what’s happening. He’s right to say he can only blame himself, because after lying to fans and baseball for years, decades even, why should we believe a single word he says?
This letter is a last-ditch effort to gain any respect he can before he hangs his cleats up for good. On numbers alone, Rodriguez is one of the greatest players in the history of the game, but even he knows at this point that’s not how he will be remembered. More than any other sport, baseball is all about history, tradition, and legend. Rodriguez’s legend will be nothing more than a man who lied and cheated all throughout his career and disrespected the game and the fans in the process.
In his own words, baseball has been Rodriguez’s life since he was a teenager. Having to leave it behind the way he’s going to have to can’t be an easy thing to think about. The result? An apology letter hoping to earn him some respect before he’s out of baseball and it’s too late.
“A-Rod” knows the end of his career is coming quick. Baseball loves to remember its heroes and greats of the past, but for Rodriguez, once it’s over, it’s going to be over for good. The baseball world won’t open its arms and welcome back a man who helped tarnish the sport’s reputation.
As baseball attempts to distance itself from the steroid era, it naturally has and will continue to distance itself from Rodriguez. It’s no coincidence it was Rodriguez who was given the longest suspension in league history. This letter changes nothing and the sport of baseball is counting down the days until its villain walks off the field for the final time.