(SportsNetwork.com) - Alex Rodriguez has released an apology to fans as he prepares to return to baseball after a year-long suspension for his role in the Biogenesis scandal.
In a hand-written letter, posted on MLB.com and various other outlets, Rodriguez said he was responsible for his actions and was ready to resume playing baseball with the New York Yankees.
Rodriguez had met with Yankees officials earlier this month and apologized. He was apparently offered a chance to make a public apology, but declined and instead released the letter.
The letter read:
To the Fans,
I take full responsibility for the mistakes that led to my suspension for the 2014 season. 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. It was gracious of the Yankees to offer me the use of Yankee Stadium for this apology, but I decided that next time I am in Yankee Stadium, I should be in pinstripes doing my job.
I served the longest suspension in the history of the league for PED use. 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.
I'm ready to put this chapter behind me and play some ball.
This game has been my single biggest passion since I was a teenager. 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.
The letter was released on the same day Tony Bosch, the man responsible for supplying illegal performance-enhancing substances to Rodriguez and others as part of his now-closed anti-aging clinic in Florida, was sentenced to four years in prison.
Position players are scheduled to report to spring training in Tampa, Florida on Feb. 25.