Alex Rodriguez is finally ready to be a team player. More than a year after his suspension from the 2014 baseball season — punishment for his use of performance-enhancing drugs — the disgraced Yankees slugger is owning up to his errors in judgment, via a handwritten letter to fans.
"I take full responsibility for the mistakes that led to my suspension for the 2014 season," he wrote in the letter, which was posted to MLB.com on Tuesday, Feb. 17. "I regret that my actions made the situation worse than it needed to be. To Major League Baseball, the Yankees, the Steinbrenner family, the Players Association, and you, the fans, I can only say I'm sorry."
"I accept the fact that many of you will not believe my apology or anything that I say at this point," he continued. "I understand why and that's on me."
Rodriguez, 39, was suspended in 2013 for his involvement in the biogenesis baseball scandal that broke earlier that year. Several other players, including 2011 National League MVP Ryan Braun, were linked to the controversy as well, but none received as harsh a sentence as A-Rod.
"I served the longest suspension in the history of the league for PED use," he wrote of his full-season ban, which was originally a 211-game suspension. "The Commissioner has said the matter is over. The Players Association has said the same. The Yankees have said the next step is to play baseball."
That's exactly what the former star — whose exes include Cameron Diaz and Kate Hudson — intends to do when he rejoins the team this spring. "I'm ready to put this chapter behind me and play some ball," he wrote.
"This game has been my single biggest passion since I was a teenager," he noted. "When I go to Spring Training, I will do everything I can to be the best player and teammate possible, earn a spot on the Yankees, and help us win."