So by now, just about everyone who follows the baseball knows that Alex Rodriguez apologized yesterday. In a handwritten note, A-Rod stated his passion for the game and his determination to earn his spot on the New York Yankees. He said that he accepts that not everyone will believe him, and that this is his fault. Alex says he is ready to move on and just play some ball.
Now I understand that he was told by the team to address the media and the fans. The Yankees and Alex both want this mess behind him. They are trying to move beyond the point where every article on A-Rod mentions his yearlong suspension and involvement in the Biogenesis scandal. However, I must say now for the fear that no one else will, A-Rod has no reason to apologize.
Why does Alex need to apologize? Who did he harm, the trust of the fans? It is ludicrous to believe that as fans we owe an apology when an athlete does something wrong. It is crazy because as fans of the Yankees we should already support him, and be rooting for his success. We can’t call ourselves fans if we are rooting against the very players that play for the team. As fans we should be willing to move on and forgive without receiving an apology. If we can’t move on without an apology, then we will never move on after the apology. If we know he made the wrong decision, why would we need Alex to repeat the obvious.
The sad thing is that there are “Yankee fans” that hate Alex with a passion. There are people who wish he would fail and just disappear. There are “Yankee fans” who would not hesitate to boo A-Rod. To these people I have a message to you: Why are you attacking someone who did you no personal harm? These so called fans are hypocritical, they support Andy Pettitte after knowing he used PED’s at one point in his career and easily forgave and move on when Giambi admitted to PED use. Let’s not pretend that Alex is the first Yankee to do something wrong, he isn’t. The fans are supposed to be the support system of the team, and many have entirely bailed out on A-Rod.
Let’s go back to that part where I said A-Rod wasn’t the first Yankee or athlete to do wrong. Some like to embed into their minds that he is all that is wrong with baseball and athletes. They considered him the prime example of the person not to emulate. In 1973, two Yankees swapped wives and families too. The trade included dogs, kids, and wives, but not houses interesting enough. If you want to talk about unethical and morally wrong, that should be the case you refer to instead. If you are looking for someone who lied, refer to Ryan Braun. He blamed his positive test on a FedEx delivery man, and made the man lose his job. Then the world finds out he is involved in the Biogenesis scandal, which means he was a repeat offender. He got off easy with a 65 game suspension and Brewers fans supported him throughout. Or Barry Bonds, never saw him apologize. Quite the opposite, he was fighting in court denying reality. We can also look at other sports, where Adrian Peterson has support from the Vikings organization and the fans. Oh and last but not least we have Ray Rice, who has been forgiven by many for his involvement in domestic abuse. Lance Armstrong is the only person I can recall that has received as much hate as A-Rod,
Now I am not trying to paint A-Rod as a saint. At the minimum Alex Rodriguez used steroids in seasons with the Yankees and with the Texas Rangers. Prior to that however he was still hated by many since the beginning of his career. Maybe because for a long time it was nearly impossible to criticize his on the field performance. I see the same criticism towards Bryce Harper and don’t understand it. Why do some people hate very young and talented players? Are people just really that envious about people with promising futures ahead of them? Every record deal he signed brought him more and more hate. Every milestone reached brought an onslaught of hate. It gets so bad that when Ryan Dempster failed to hit Alex on three straight pitches, then finally succeeded on the 4th try it brought cheers throughout Fenway Park. Coming from the same team that was close to trading for him prior to the 2004 season.
The only people Alex ever should have apologized to was the Yankees and Commissioner Manfred. He has already apologized to both for his actions in the Biogenesis scandal and for his lawsuit. These were the only people who were directly affected by Alex’s choices and actions. A-Rod never should have been compelled to pen an apology to the fans. The real fans already forgave him, and it will not suppress the hatred of the bitter. You can steal, you can kill, you can bully, but if you dare cheat you will face some serious heat. (Not a reference to Dempster’s fastball by the way)