I’ve read it a dozen times and I still don’t understand what I’m supposed to feel. I’m talking about Alex Rodriguez’s letter of apology for getting caught using performance enhancing drugs. Didja notice what I did there? As follicely-impaired as I am becoming I can still split hairs.
The Yankees’ 3rd baseman as everyone on the planet now knows was more juiced than the baseballs he has been smacking over outfield fences all across the American League. I’d like to believe no one (else) in professional sports cheats-I’d also like to believe I am 6’2” tall. We both know how that’s all worked out.
He cheated. He got caught and he was punished. I love the idea of ‘handwriting experts’ weighing in on the real meaning behind his scribble. Dear NJ dot com: Seriously? Were there no entrails-reading experts on Annie’s List you could have called? I'd have told our Hanky Panky Yankee to spray paint his apology on the Stadium's concourse walls; what would you have made of that?
I realize this is Lent and we should ask forgiveness for our sins (real and/or imagined), so I guess I should applaud his example but, y’know what, enough is enough. I didn’t think the “apology” to the Yankees’ ownership was necessary. When they signed him there were murmurings and mumblings on a whole raft of players and not just about the soon to be former Texas Ranger. But you made the deal and now rather than buyer's remorse we have Gumby Theater. Terrific.
No one has ever mistaken Mr. Rodriguez (I was reading the NY Times earlier; can you tell?) for Mr. Rogers, though there are probably days when the neighborhood is more fun than the Bronx Zoo (either of them). For the most storied franchise in American baseball and possibly in all of sport, the Pride of the Yankees has often had some serious blemishes on its sheen.
Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Billy Martin and Alex Rodriguez all have something in common and I’ll leave it to you and your imagination to figure out what it is but, as a hint, let me suggest abuse can take any number of forms. Yeah, you got it now.
Besides, no hard feelings here. I’ve rooted for the Yankees my whole life and with apologies to the famous Lloyd Bentson-Dan Quall exchange, you are not Andy or Bernie or Jorge, all of whose numbers will be retired soon enough (leading me to wonder when the team will start issuing four digit uniform numbers)-so my disappointment and anger (?) at what you did certainly does know some bounds.
You’re the guy who was brought in to play third base and get the ball club to the Series. The former you did on a regular if not always consistently spectacular basis, the latter not so much. As the imaginary Greg House noted years ago, everybody lies. It stands to reason, those same liars also cheat.
Apology accepted, if that’s what you wanted to read. Now go forth and PED no more. Pitchers and catchers report tomorrow and the full squad is there a week next Wednesday. Be ready for baseball because I sure am.