Open Letter to Alex Rodriguez

Dear A-Rod,

Thank you.

Thank you for backing down. Baseball doesn’t need any more of you unless you’re actually playing the game. We’re tired of everything else. In the back of our collective minds, we’ve been thinking all along, Give it up. Accept the punishment and move on, and the back of your mind finally turned on, to a degree. While I can’t say we’ll miss you this season, I can say that it will be nice to see you return in 2015, unjuiced and perhaps a bit more humble.

It goes without saying that we’d all be a lot better off had you just accepted your punishment the first time around, instead of continuing to deny, deny, deny, even as the evidence mounted up. You were ratted out on 60 Minutes.

Instead of asking us for forgiveness, you dragged us through your pity party. You played the victim. Not very baseball-y of you, A-Rod. And, as much as I’d rather not bring up the pro-athletes-aren’t-role-models debate, the fact is that millions of kids look up to you. Not only did you screw baseball, you screwed your fans, and all those kids who thought you were cool but realized (the hard way) that you’re not.

But, I don’t think your work is done here, A-Rod. There is still work for you to do. You have to come back to the game and fix what you ruined, or at least try.

Come back to the game, play a mediocre season (at a superstar’s salary), and wash the bad taste from our mouths. How bad can that be? We all know how much your image matters to you, and the only real way for you to remove even the slightest amount of stain is to come back and play ball for a whole season without denying you used steroids. Because, isn’t that what you’re telling us — that you did use steroids — by withdrawing your lawsuits?

Now come out and say it to our faces. Go on television and tell everyone you made a mistake and that you’re suffering the consequences. And even if you don’t feel that way, lie. It’s the right thing to do. The only thing worse than a liar is a liar who never admits he lied.

Remember right and wrong? Sometimes we have to sacrifice our image or do things we don’t want to for the good of right vs. wrong. It won’t be that bad. Trust me. Ryan Braun admitted it, and I can tell you what: I dislike him a bit less, now.

But you’re A-Rod. Everybody dislikes you, a lot. You’ll not only have to admit you doped, but apologize for lying about it. Nothing short of that will begin to repair the damage you’ve done to yourself and the game of baseball. And nothing short of that will make even a handful of us want to watch you play baseball ever again. The most you can hope for, now, is less people hating you.

Remember, a year will pass with no one thinking about you, so when you come back, it will be like starting over. Sort of. Take a cue from the Bartolo Colons and Jhonny Peraltas of the world. Admit you did wrong, and move on. No one likes someone who thinks they’re always right. It’s okay to make mistakes. What you do after those mistakes matters too.

Do what’s right. Bring back Alex Rodriguez the baseball player, and do something to help us forget Alex Rodriguez, the cheater and liar.

The world is only your oyster for so long.

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