"He doesn't have to talk to me about it," said Orioles reliever Steve Kline. "He has nothing to explain to anybody on this team, I don't think. He's a good person. He just wants to play ball. That's all we want to do. We just want to get this distraction out of the way."

Orioles pitcher Jason Grimsley conceded that baseball has taken a public relations hit in recent years because of steroid allegations, but he pointed out that the game is being cleaned up.

"There's definitely been something that has been taken away [from fans], but there are steps being made and things being done to fix that," Grimsley said. "I hope the fans see that, I hope the public see that, and I think the people in Major League Baseball offices and the people on Capitol Hill see the efforts that are being made to change things."

Orioles fan Kevin "K.C." Richardson of Glen Burnie, who attended last night's game against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, was willing to forgive Palmeiro as well. He brought a tapestry that he painted of Palmeiro to give to the first baseman, and said he remains a fan.

"I believe whatever he did, that's on him. That's between him and God," Richardson said. "He's already forgiven ... because he did his time like a gentleman."

Palmeiro said after the game that he was touched by the reception he got from some fans.

"It was good. I really appreciated that," he said. "I appreciated the fans cheering and supporting me. They just were happy for me to be back."

Plenty of Orioles fans, though, weren't ready to turn the other cheek just yet. Scott Anderson, a police officer from Harrisonburg, Va., showed up at the game with three friends, all wearing orange-and-black T-shirts with Palmeiro's No. 25 on the back and "Hall of Shame" and a syringe on the front.

All four men sat in box seats just behind the Orioles dugout and cheered for their team. They said they'd be back tonight, with their custom-made shirts that cost $52 total.

"I was Raffy's biggest fan because he was the exception to all these other cases," Anderson said. "When I heard the news, I said to myself, 'Who do I believe anymore?' "

Neal Davis, a 17-year-old left-handed pitcher from Catonsville, said that as a lifelong Orioles fan, he wants to believe and forgive Palmeiro. But for that to happen, Palmeiro has to speak up and explain himself.

"He has to be upfront about it, whether he was taking it on purpose or accidentally," Davis said. "If he lied in front of Congress, he shouldn't keep lying. He should just come out with it and let it be known. If he gives the full story, then maybe it will be a little bit easier to forgive him for what he did."

Sun staff writers Candus Thomson, Jeff Zrebiec, Bill Ordine and Dan Connolly contributed to this article.