Alex Rodriguez Weighs in on Astros Cheating: 'You've Earned Whatever Comes Your Way'

John Healy
March 03, 2020 - 3:56 pm

Alex Rodriguez knows a thing or two about screwing up and repairing his image, so perhaps the Houston Astros should listen up.

The former Yankees slugger and ESPN announcer commented about the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal that has rocked the baseball world this winter at length during a Yankees-Red Sox spring training game on Tuesday.

Rodriguez, who admitted in 2009 to using steroids while with the Texas Rangers and was suspended a full season in 2014 due to his ties to Biogenesis, related his experiences to the current Astros, whom many fans and players remain angry at because not only did they avoid a suspension, but they also showed a lack of remorse, which Rodriguez said is the worst thing they could do.

“Take it from a guy who has made as many mistakes as anybody on the biggest stage — I served the longest suspension in Major League Baseball history. It cost me well over $35 million and you know what? I deserved that,” he said. “As a result, I came back, I owned it after acting like a buffoon for a long time, I had my apologies, then I went dark.

“I wanted my next move to be contrite, but I wanted to play good baseball and change my narrative. The way you change is you have to be accountable. You‘ve earned all this negative talk. You’ve earned whatever comes your way – whether hit by a pitch or negative press. You have divorced yourself from your ability to protect yourself.”

In 2009, Rodriguez publicly apologized after he was outed among a list of anonymous players who failed a performance-enhancing drug test in 2003. Four years later, he found himself embroiled in the Biogenesis scandal and went full scorched earth, suing Major League Baseball and the Yankees.

After accepting his record suspension, he issued a hand-written apology to the fans, MLB and the Yankees prior to the 2015 season and turned the page. Yankee fans began to embrace A-Rod, and he slowly started repairing his image within MLB to the point where he is an ambassador for the sport and broadcasting games on national television.

Many former Astros players have apologized for what transpired in 2017, but the club botched an apology earlier in spring training, with Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve speaking for a combined minute-and-a-half, reading prepared statements after they failed to apologize the first time they spoke to reporters over the winter.

Since spring training games have begun, Astros players have been targeted with boos and heckling by fans, hit by pitches and mocked by other baseball players around the league.