Friday May 15th, 2009

Dear Roger:

It's me -- your brain.

You remember me, don't you? We used to be tight. I was the one who told you to throw that nasty 3-2 slider to Lenn Sakata back in '84. The one who said Florida real estate was a better investment than a line of tuna-flavored chewing tobacco. The one who said 17-year-old country singers have fake IDs, too (dude, you really should have listened to me on that one).

Anyhow, I know we haven't spoken in some time, and that things ended sort of awkwardly between us (hey, I thought posing for the Swimsuit Issue would do wonders for you and Deb). But, bro, I've been watching you these past few years and well, call me cocky, but you need me. Really, you do.

I'm not sure whether you're listening to your agents, or your paid advisors, or your kids, or -- heaven forbid -- that Rusty guy, but in the name of Malik Yoba, stop. Please, stop. Ignore 'em all. It's my show now.

To begin with, wake the hell up and face reality. Nobody believes you. Literally, nobody. Not the media, not the fans, not even your former co-workers. The more you defend yourself, the guiltier you sound.

Did you hear the Mike & Mike tape from the other day? I'm being serious -- did you listen to the tape? "I have our family has the history of heart conditions. My brother had a heart attack and as late 40s my step dad died of heart attack. I mean it would be suicidal."

Roger! Your step dad -- no biological relation!? Your brother Randy -- who suffered from years of drug addiction!? Those are your examples of hereditary heart disease? And you wonder why Keanu Reeves is more believable?

Here's another tidbit -- stop assigning nicknames. For God's sake, man, you're 46-years old. Mike Greenberg isn't going to morph into Larry King because you call him "Greenie." That garbage might have worked back in 2005, when the Houston press cowered in your presence. But in 2005 you could've run for mayor and probably won. Today, you don't get a job as a dishwasher at the Westheimer Road Cheesecake Factory (admittedly, the economy is tough).

Also, I beg of you, quit hinting that you might -- just might -- make a comeback. You're a delusional accused steroid user approaching his 50s. Who, exactly, is calling your home to offer a contract? The Newark Bears? The St. Paul Saints? The Sunrise Senior Living Center slo-pitch softball team? It's over, babe. Over.

Yet all that being said, there's still one slim ray of hope. First, take a deep breath, look in the mirror and repeat after me: "I'm sorry. I was wrong, I've made mistakes, I'm going to make good. I'd like to apologize to the fans, and anyone who was hurt by my actions. I love this game, and I want to do right. Thank you, and God bless."

I know ... I know. You say you're innocent ... that the world is out to get you. Guess what? Doesn't matter. Remember what Jason Giambi apologized for four years ago? Right -- nothing. Eight months later, the guy was handed the AL Comeback Player of the Year Award ... by the media. See, Rog, all people want is a little contrition. Is anyone mad at Andy Pettitte anymore? Or how about Brian Roberts? Smile, sign some autographs and all's forgotten.

That's what you need to realize: The venom directed toward you isn't about the steroids -- it's about the arrogance. You played that taped phone conversation with Brian McNamee and sounded like a thug. You stood before Congress and looked like the punk high school kid telling his teacher to shove it. You responded to allegations of your wife's HGH intake by throwing her under the bus. You appeared on Mike & Mike and ripped a book you hadn't even read.

So why not try a new approach? A different approach? A better approach?

Yeah, you might end up going to jail for perjury. But you'll have your dignity back. At least some of it.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.