On the Inside Sports
It is hard to forget the last time Alex Rodriguez apologized.
"I know that I am in a position where I have to earn my trust back,” Rodriguez said in 2009 at a time when, despite being implicated for using performance-enhancing drugs, he still had some credibility to his name. “Over time, I am confident that, at the end of my career, people will see this for what it is — a stupid mistake and a lesson learned for a guy with a lot of baseball to play.”
Six years later, with spring training almost here, another Rodriguez apology has been made, with fans all the wiser that he made a lot more than “a stupid mistake” the first time around.
Opting to forgo a public press conference, Rodriguez instead chose to release a hand-written letter on Tuesday in which he apologized for his year-long suspension and involvement with the Biogenesis PED scandal. Writing vaguely, he also apologized for some his actions during his ban, which included him futilely pleading his innocence and suing Major League Baseball and the New York Yankees.
By writing the letter instead of holding a traditional presser, Rodriguez is showing a lack of accountability, just like he always has. No press conference means no unrelenting media questions. It means rightfully disgruntled fans will be deprived of a chance to see if the disgraced ballplayer can at least fake some sincerity. Not that anyone would believe him if given the opportunity.
Perhaps that is why Rodriguez chose to hide behind pen and paper. A-Rod knows no one is going to believe a single word he wrote.
“I accept the fact that many of you will not believe my apology or anything that I say at this point,” he wrote in the letter. “I understand why and that’s on me.”
Not a single word.
The worst part about Rodriguez is not that he is a cheater. Plenty of players have been able to put their PED use and even worse transgressions behind them. It is not even his phony, poser, full-of-himself personality; the type of guy that commissions a painting of himself as a centaur or pees on his cousin’s house to mark his territory (Yes, he really did those things).
No, the worst part about Rodriguez is that he is a liar, and a shameless one at that. Media members, the Yankees and fans across baseball were foolish enough to trust him back in 2009. That will not happen again, not this time. Not after everything that has transpired.
While Rodriguez has done a rather impressive job of destroying his career in the past six years, it is his reputation that has taken the biggest hit. At this point people would not believe him if he said the sun would rise in the morning.
No one is going to get fooled again by another one of his lies or believe him when he says sorry or that he has learned from his mistakes.
No one is going to forget what happened since the last time he apologized.
Gary Phillips can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter @GPhillips2727.