I'm sure at this point, everyone is pretty much sick of talking about Alex Rodriguez. From his recent divorce to his admitted steroid use, the hip injury sidelining him for the start of the season to his possible implication in the same prostitution ring as former New York governor Eliot Spitzer, A-Rod is all the rage for newspapers, tabloids and the like.
My thoughts, however, came to this: Is there any way A-Rod can redeem himself?
The obvious answer, of course, is no. He has shamed the game with his steroid use, making him no better than Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire or any other alleged former users. His playoff failures and lack of clutchness are well documented. For everything that Derek Jeter seems to be epitomize about the soul and class of the game of baseball, A-Rod looks like the opposite: he provides infinite fodder for the media, bounds around town with Madonna while still married and doesn't seem to learn from his mistakes.
Can Alex Rodriguez change this perception? Athletes have certainly come back from the depths before. Look at Josh Hamilton and his well-documented addiction to drugs. Certainly Alex's situation is a bit different, and he has dug himself a very deep hole to climb out of. But the paralells exist nevertheless.
Winning a World Series with the Yankees would certainly be a start. Yankees fans would gradually come into his corner. As a Yankee fan myself, I know that if he provided a clutch hit to catapult the Yanks to a World Series victory, I would cheer without any remorse. However, the steroid use and perceived arrogance seem to be extremely high hurdles. A-Rod needs to prove his trustworthiness. How he could accomplish this, however, after all the damage that has been done, is anyone's guess.