He made a good start

The Baltimore Sun

Really, what else could the guy do?

Alex Rodriguez already had the confessional examples of New York Yankees teammates Jason Giambi and Andy Pettitte, and closer to home here, the Orioles' Brian Roberts, as illustration that throwing oneself on the mercy of the court of public opinion seems to be the best policy when it comes to these steroid scandals.

While we take perverse glee in seeing heroes tumble, we also seem to enjoy having the opportunity to forgive them for their sins after a humble mea culpa and a little groveling.

And whether A-Rod's motives are salvaging endorsement deals, helping to polish a tarnished legacy or even genuinely seeking to make amends for shaming the game (as baseball commissioner Bud Selig put it), yesterday's public explanation was a decent first step in accomplishing those objectives.

Was it completely effective? Well, I have to admit that Rodriguez raised some questions as he described taking "boli," the so-called energizer that resulted in his positive drug tests several years ago.

But if Rodriguez's career goes well, he has a lot more home runs in front of him, and if he plays this smart, he will continue to try to create goodwill by engaging in repentant pursuits such as the Taylor Hooton Foundation, which discourages steroid use among young people.

Yesterday's news conference was a good if not flawless start to repairing A-Rod's image - and it certainly beat silence or defiance.

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