Yankees star Alex Rodriguez returns to the Yankees this spring after serving a 162-game suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs. Like many sports figures who have served lengthy suspensions, A-Rod took a moment to apologize before returning to the field. And then, Karen Given notes, the media lost their minds.
By now you’ve probably caught at least a glimpse of the two-page, handwritten note Alex Rodriguez wrote to tell baseball fans he’s sorry. The OCD in me really wishes he had used lined paper, because the text on the first page slopes up on the right. But, other than that, it seems to me like a pretty sincere apology, as these things go.
We suffered through an entire season without being able to mention his enormous contract every time he struck out.Karen Given
It starts with the words “To the fans,” not “To my fans,” because A-Rod doesn’t have very many of those left. After he signed what was at the time the most lucrative contract in baseball, then had trouble living up to expectations, got caught taking performance-enhancing drugs, apologized, and got caught again, Rodriguez needed to find a new way to say he’s sorry. So, he wrote a note.
Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post suggested that A-Rod had written “as if he were Heathcliff and the fans his Catherine.” I doubt Rodriguez has read "Wuthering Heights," but he does, apparently, own two portraits of himself as a centaur, so anything’s possible.
The Wall Street Journal took things a bit further by bringing in a “certified master graphologist” to study Rodriguez’s handwriting. The Journal’s expert declared that A-Rod writes “like a girl,” which is a phrase I’d like to see struck from the vocabulary of sports. And she said that Rodriguez’s capital “I’s” indicate that he has quite the ego, which really isn’t very surprising. He does, apparently, own two portraits of himself as a centaur.
For me, all of this says more about us than it does about Alex Rodriguez. The fact is, while A-Rod spent all of last season at home, the Yankees missed the playoffs and the Red Sox barely showed up for Opening Day. Major League Baseball’s most passionate rivalry was in a slump, and A-Rod wasn’t around to distract us. We suffered through an entire season without being able to mention his enormous contract every time he struck out. It was a season sadly lacking in centaur jokes.
So, I’ll let others continue to analyze each of the 216 words in Rodriguez’s latest mea culpa. I’ll leave it to them to wonder why he used blue ink, rather than black. Instead I’ll say, “Welcome back, A-Rod. We missed you.”