Alex Rodriguez wrote a letter to his fans Tuesday apologizing for his performance-enhancing drug involvement, which triggered a season-long suspension from Major League Baseball in 2014.
"I take full responsibility for the mistakes that led to my suspension for the 2014 season," Rodriguez said in the letter, which was obtained by ESPN. "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. I understand why and that's on me," A-Rod added. "It was gracious of the Yankees to offer me the use of Yankee Stadium for this apology but I decided the next time I am in Yankee Stadium, I should be in pinstripes doing my job."
Before A-Rod's statement Tuesday, the Yankees had offered him the chance to publicly apologize to fans at Yankee Stadium. There was also a rumored report from the New York Daily News about Rodriguez considering Derek Jeter's website, The Player's Tribune, as a possible avenue to apologize directly to fans without the media serving as middlemen.
The ironic thing about that is A-Rod and Jeter were noted friends upon entering Major League Baseball in 1994 and 1995, respectively, before their friendship reportedly fell apart after Rodriguez told Esquire Magazine in 2001 that Jeter has "never had to lead" due to the talent around him. The two have been teammates on the New York Yankees from 2004-2013, but their friendship has reportedly never been the same.
Tuesday's letter to fans comes after A-Rod met with MLB commissioner Rob Manfred late last month and the Yankees last week to apologize to them for his PED use, which led to the MLB suspending him for the entire 2014 season. Despite his apology, A-Rod may still be asked about his suspension and alleged PED use during spring training, although it is believed he will elect not to answer such questions.
The Yankees are still on the hook for $61 million owed to Rodriguez, 39, over the next three seasons. However, they feel like they shouldn't have to pay Rodriguez $6 million as a career-milestone bonus for tying Willie Mays with 660 home runs due to tainting from his PED use and involvement. A-Rod currently has 654 homers.
The Yankees are hoping that A-Rod can evolve into their every-day designated hitter this season.
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(Photo: Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images for Alfalit International, Inc)