His letter Tuesday was written by hand, as if a printed sheet of Times New Roman might make us doubt Alex Rodriguez’s sincerity.
Baseball’s most prolific cheater could have written his apology in his own blood, and people still would have wisecracked about its chemical contents.
But to Alex, it must have seemed like the right thing to do, like taking Tom Hicks’ $252 million, like slapping the baseball from Bronson Arroyo’s glove, like cutting across the pitcher’s mound and like threatening to sue Major League Baseball.
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There are two things that remain consistent throughout the adult life of Alex Rodriguez: his thirst for making money and his propensity for not thinking things through.
His written apology, therefore, was likely an impromptu reaction to the Ringling Brothers scene that yet-another mea culpa at Yankee Stadium would have caused. Rendered in person, there would have been cameras and people with questions — questions that, for all his pledged newfound sincerity, Rodriguez has yet to answer.
Sure enough, no sooner than the letter was published Tuesday, the wife of A-Rod’s cousin, Yuri Sucart, was publicly calling the apology a fraud. It was Yuri, Rodriguez claims, who introduced him to performance-enhancing substances. And it’s cousin Yuri who has an April 6 date in federal court.
Anthony Bosch, the owner of the Biogenesis clinic that provided PEDs for, among others, Rodriguez and Nelson Cruz, was sentenced this week to four years in federal prison for his role in the case.
Would Rodriguez dare be called to testify in Yuri’s case? Would anyone, all swearing on Bibles aside, believe him?
Not if Carmen Sucart has any say in it. While ripping into Alex’s apology this week, she insisted that the seedy story about Rodriguez — in a fit of bullying anger — urinating on the wall of the Sucart family home is true.
At the time, Rodriguez allegedly was trying to pay the Sucarts for their silence, even to federal investigators.
He wants to come back now, even after all the lying and the hip surgeries and the millions that the Yankees (and the Rangers) have wasted on him.
Again, though, he hasn’t thought this through. The Yankees have moved on, and not just at third base. But Alex seems to think that a final FDA-approved home run trot around the American League would restore his legacy — whatever he thinks that is.
That, and the Yankees still owe him $64 million.
In lieu of a handwritten apology, A-Rod would be better off agreeing to a daily disclosure of his postgame urinalysis results. Until the public sees those numbers, his career home run total — 654 and holding — will continue to pale.
If Barry Bonds’ home run record is considered a blotch on the baseball record book, a few more Rodriguez homers would be like a shredding machine.
As columnist Juliet Macur wrote this week in the New York Times, of all places, “Hasn’t everyone had enough of Alex Rodriguez by now?”
We can imagine Alex sitting back, putting the cap back on his ink pen, and nodding with satisfaction as he finished his apology.
I wonder if Rodriguez imagined the next day that there would be comedian and master impersonator Frank Caliendo on the ESPN Mike & Mike show, reading Alex’s letter — in the mockingly oh-so-sincere voice of actor Morgan Freeman.
The next time you see him, A-Rod said, he’ll be doing his job in Yankee Stadium.
Gil LeBreton, 817-390-7697