By Mark Zinno

By now, everyone in sports – fans, media, players, coaches and front office people have experience a good amount of “steroid fatigue.” We are all used to hearing that a player was caught using performance enhancing drugs. And we are no longer surprised by ANY player who gets named as someone who may have used PEDs in the past or present. It has worn us all down. We have come to expect less from our professional athletes when it comes to integrity, competitive advantage and doing things the “right way” … the honest way. I think everyone is just a little bit worn out by it all … except, when it comes to Alex Rodriguez.

One of the biggest lightning rods in all of sports, A-Rod has the uncanny ability to shoot right to the top of headlines with whatever he says and does. Today, it was a hand-written letter from Rodriguez to the world apologizing for his past transgressions as a PED user, someone who tried to sue the whole system and even alienated his own team and teammates.

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Rodriguez and his camp full of misguided fools, had contemplated publicly – along with the Yankees – a way to figure out how to address his situation. The team had mandated that his public address would NOT take place at the Yankees spring training complex in Tampa, but they did offer up Yankee Stadium, prior to spring training, as a venue. After making a public apology in 2009 in Tampa, Rodriguez has showed time and time again that, facing a media gaggle was something that he was not equipped to handle. There was even talk of A-Rod using former teammate Derek Jeter’s website, The Players Tribune, to make his statement. While there was nothing official ever communicated between the two sides, clearly, everyone can see the ultimate irony of Jeter allowing Rodriguez to use his new business venture to allow Alex to make his second mea culpa.

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Rodriguez did his best to own up to his mistakes. The same mistakes he made six years ago, then repeated. People struggled to believe him then. They don’t believe him now and more importantly, they just don’t care. Rodriguez knows that people don’t believe him. He also knows that if he was to meet with the media, it would be sending lambs to the slaughter. He’s not the best talker. He doesn’t know how to command the presence of a room. He doesn’t convey genuine. So in trying to figure out how to tell the world the obligatory, “I’m sorry” … and yes, it is obligatory – that’s part of the reason why it’s so insincere – he went with the, “I’ve just been punished by my 5th grade teacher” method. That may have been the last time I wrote an apology letter. Either that, it was to my girlfriend in high school before email came about.

The letter response was so A-Rod it was predictable. It wasn’t well thought out. It didn’t take into account the response. It certainly didn’t answer any questions. It was ill-conceived and hurried. It was Alex Rodriguez. Even Tiger Woods, whose transgressions may be even worse than A-Rod’s, made time to stand in front of a camera and read a statement. A-Rod wrote a letter to … no one and to everyone at the same time, making it impersonal. Perfectly and predictably A-Rod. His biggest cross to bear, even when he was on top of the world, was his inability to be likable – by his teammates, the media and the fans.

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And now there is this sort of laughable punctuation on a career that’s as noted for its meteoric rise, as it is for its very ungraceful fall. If Alex Rodriguez wanted to write a letter that left a lasting impact on people everywhere … a letter that would have actually endeared himself to everyone, he could have done it in just two simple words: I quit.