Sorry Doesn’t Cut It, A-Rod, Even If It’s In Cursive

Marc Sterne Producer, "The Tony Kornheiser Show"
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So Alex Rodriguez has apologized. Again. To be honest, I’ve sort of lost count, so I’m not sure exactly what apology number this is. I think it’s somewhere around 73 – but hey, this time he really means it.

How do I know that? Well, because he took the time to hand write this apology – in cursive, which means he’s incredibly sincere. Or at least, that’s what his PR team wants you to think. Don’t they know they’re not even teaching kids cursive anymore? It would have been a better idea for him to write in Egyptian hieroglyphs – that would have saved him a lot of time. I’d have to check the Rosetta Stone, but I think all he’d need is that one symbol that is a giant middle finger to the world.

Rodriguez has made insincerity an art form, and this just may be his masterpiece. Why take the Yankees up on their offer to use Yankee Stadium to make this formal apology, where you’ll have to face cameras, microphones, and actual people who probably wouldn’t be able to contain their laughter in the face of such absurdity. Yeah, so much better to submit a note – sorry, a handwritten note in cursive – and not have to deal with the harsh stares of the unbelievers, and their pesky follow up questions.

Rodriguez says at one point that he knows a lot of people won’t believe or accept this apology, and that’s on him. Yeah it is – and whole lot more. This guy was blessed with unbelievable talent which, had he played it clean, would have taken him to the Hall of Fame. Instead, he cheated and lied at every turn, making a mockery of the sport, and insulting the intelligence of just about any reasonable human being who heard him spew his lies. Remember the sit down he had with Katie Couric in 2007, when he flatly denied ever having taken performance enhancing drugs? That was a lot of fun, especially a couple of years later when he admitted that he’d actually taken them a long time ago, but only because of the enormous pressure for him to perform at a high level. But now, he said. I’m totally clean and excited to prove all my doubters wrong.

Shortly thereafter, A-Rod was back at it again with performance enhancers, this time with the good folks from BioGenesis. When this blew up, he played the part of the outraged, innocent victim to a T. Except no one was really buying it, and consequently when it was finally revealed that he was in fact deeply involved with Anthony Bosch and BioGenesis, nobody was surprised at all. Bosch was just sentenced to 4 years in jail for his role in supplying these drugs to pro and amateur athletes (some only in high school). Rodriguez was suspended for a year, and while he lost about 21 million dollars, he’s still owed 61 million by the Yankees. But A-Rod lost much more than that — he lost any hope he had of salvaging his legacy, and earned the neverending scorn of baseball fans. And now, like a drowning man grasping for anything that will keep him afloat, Rodriguez tries to mollify the anger directed towards him with this pathetic letter. I’m sorry – this pathetic handwritten letter in cursive.

The biggest thing that stood out for me in this letter (other than that his cursive hand writing looks oddly like a note my grandmother may have written), is that he says at one point “I’m ready to put this chapter behind me, and play some ball.” Well I’ve got some news for you Sunshine, there is no way that just be sending this letter out – I’m sorry, this handwritten cursive letter – will serve as the last word in this matter. He will have to face the media, the fans, and all of their questions and criticisms, until hopefully someday we all get so tired of him that we just stop talking about him.

Rodriguez will be with Yankees for Spring Training, and the circus will follow him at every step. It’s funny how fast a year can go by. It was so nice last year to have A-Rod completely removed from the scene, and the jarring reality that he’s back came crashing home this week with this weak apology, and the nauseating faux-eagerness to just get back to playing the game he loves. Please. If he loved the game so much, then he wouldn’t have taken the drugs that almost destroyed the game of baseball, let alone become the poster child for steroid use.

I know it’s not my money to spend, but I really wish the Yankees would just pay A-Rod the 61 million dollars they owe him and tell him to go away. Instead, we get to see an aging, disgraced ball player whose skills are a shadow of what they once were, try to make the team as a part-time player. Some will cheer him as he and his surgically repaired hips try and turn back the hands of time, but they shouldn’t. Alex Rodriguez represents everything that is wrong with baseball and sports in general, and the game would be best served is he never played another game again. So hold back your cheers for him as he makes this final lap. Even if he writes each and every one of you a hand written note, and especially if that note is in cursive.