If anyone can judge the authenticity of an “I’m sorry,” it is a New Yorker. New Yorkers are fast-paced, hardworking, and smart. They know that when someone bodyslams them on the street during the morning rush whether the subsequent “I’m sorry” is legitimate or just an emotionless auto-response.
Alex “A-Rod” Rodriguez knows New Yorkers. “People in New York are so honest ... I’m so proud to represent the City of New York—and that goes for on and off the field ... I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I love the people,” said A-Rod in an interview with Gotham magazine.
A-Rod, just because your letter is handwritten, the writing on the wall is clear: The letter isn’t about the fans. It is about you.
So if anyone can call “BS” on A-Rod’s apology, it is a New Yorker.
This week A-Rod “apologized” to his fans, via a handwritten letter posted on the Yankees’ website.
A-Rod writes, “I regret that my actions made the situation worse than it needed to be.” He also states his belief that since he served the longest suspension in MLB history and since the Commissioner and union “said the matter is over,” it is time to put his cheating ways behind him.
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Granted, the letter is handwritten, which is proper etiquette, according to all experts from Emily Post to Amy Vanderbilt. But the letter is written on a white piece of paper that looks like it is from his agent’s printer. According to Emily Post, ''You can tell who someone is by their stationery — it's really like someone's wardrobe.'' For someone who was once on GQ’s “Best Dressed” list and hobnobs with the rich and famous, it is baffling that the man does not have personalized stationery. Maybe he does but he chose not to use it for his generic apology letter.
Moving on to the substance (or lack thereof), etiquette expert Diane Gottsman says that the proper apology must be prompt, in person, keep the focus off of yourself, and don’t say it if you don’t mean it.
A-Rod’s letter is not prompt. He waited until just two weeks before spring training to apologize.
A-Rod’s apology was not in person. In fact, in the letter he states, “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. By declining the offer, he avoided direct interaction with teammates and the 50,291 baseball fans seated in Yankee Stadium.
A-Rod did not keep the focus off of himself, exhibited by his use of I/me/us 24 times in his short 13-sentence note.
A-Rod said it but he didn’t mean it. Last week, A-Rod initiated a meeting with the Yankees’ brass and the organization demanded he apologize to the media and the fans. But apologies were not the only topic of discussion during the 90-minute meeting. Money was also discussed. A-Rod can make up to another $30 million if he achieves up to five home run goals, including if he hits just six more home runs to tie Willie Mays’ all-time record, he is owed $6 million...unless the team disputes the legitimacy of this record due to his steroid use.
A-Rod, just because your letter is handwritten, the writing on the wall is clear to everyone, especially to New Yorkers: The letter isn’t about the fans. It is about you. You wrote it because you were told that you had to. You wrote it because your millions are on the line.
Tamara N. Holder has been a Fox News Contributor since 2010. She is also a clemency attorney and founder of xpunged.com. She has filed hundreds of petitions to expunge/seal criminal records, and petitions for clemency/pardon.