A day after his steroids-tainted former teammate announced his retirement, and on the day that a federal judge handed his former dealer a sentence of four years in prison, Alex Rodriguez issued a handwritten apology to the fans for his use of performance-enhancing drugs.
“I take full responsibility for the mistakes that led to my suspension for the 2014 season,” the Yankees designated hitter wrote in blue pen. “I regret that my actions made the situation worse than it needed to be. To Major League Baseball, the Yankees, the Steinbrenner family, the Players Association and you, the fans, I can only say I’m sorry.”
Major League Baseball suspended A-Rod late in the 2013 season. The 14-time all-star initially appealed. In early 2014, after threats of lawsuits, Rodriguez agreed to sit the entire 2014 season. He returns to play during spring training. Yankees pitchers and catchers report to Tampa this week.
A-Rod contemplated issuing an apology before a full house at Yankee Stadium or through Derek Jeter’s athlete website. Ultimately, he picked up a piece of paper and scribbled his apology that concluded with a “Sincerely” that many no doubt find insincere. The second half of the missive emphasizes that the commissioner and players’ union agree that “the matter is over.” A-Rod says he just wants to earn a roster spot on the Yankees.
“I accept the fact that many of you will not believe my apology or anything that I say at this point,” the three-time MVP wrote in cursive. “I understand why and that’s on me. It was gracious of the Yankees to offer me the use of Yankee Stadium for this apology but I decided the next time I am in Yankee Stadium, I should be in pinstripes doing my job.”
The 39-year-old boasts 654 home runs and 2,939 hits. He looks good to join the 3,000 hit club this season and stands an outside shot of breaking Barry Bonds’s all-time home run record if he extends his career into his mid 40s.