10 February, 2009

A-Roid: Some PR advice from a baseball fan

So Alex Rodriguez has officially joined the nefarious list of juicers in baseball. Rewind to his 60 Minutes interview less than two years ago and listen as he climbs astride his sanctimonious high horse, stares down Katie Couric, denies ever using steroids, and scoffs at the idea that he'd ever need them in the first place.

Fast forward to reality, where an "older, wiser" A-Rod offers a half-assed mea culpa. Of course, everyone knows he's not really sorry he did it. He's sorry he got caught.

And here's the biggest problem: He trots out the trite, form letter apology that all fallen heroes probably carry in their wallets, complete with the standard caveats (I was young, I was naive, I was under a lot of pressure). It transcends pathetic. It's a blazing, stinking pile of arrogance.

When you demand and are awarded the richest contract in baseball history, you don't get to complain about pressure. Your pity card is revoked. It's part and parcel of the job. You can't expect to win the sympathies of the American public when you're making more in one at-bat than most people make in a year.

I'm going to offer A-Rod some free advice:

Be humble, Rodriguez. Not PR-humble. Human humble. In fact, take it a step further. Release a statement saying that you don't deserve a place in the Hall of Fame. And mean it. Tell fans you don't expect or deserve their respect, but that you'll spend the rest of your life working to earn it.

Be authentic and genuine - not in word, but in deed.

And if that doesn't win a few fans over, try rending your clothes, rubbing dirt in your hair, and whipping yourself in the town center of Cooperstown.

Now that's a public relations stunt people can feel good about. Particularly us Orioles fans.

Previous posts that tested positive for content enhancement: Oh that Barry; Sticking it to Bonds for Fun and Profit; Sticking it to Bonds: Epilogue.

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