Alex Rodriguez can’t erase his past, but he’s done a pretty good job at cleaning up his image. The former star infielder for the Mariners, Rangers and Yankees has done tons of press and has become somewhat endearing in retirement.

One of the many questionable decisions A-Rod made during his playing days resulted in the infamous image of him kissing himself in a mirror. It’s a truly terrible photo, and given that the internet is an elephant and doesn’t forget anything, it will likely follow Rodriguez around until the end of time. In a recent interview with The New York Times Magazine, Rodriguez explained the backstory behind that photo.

“I cringe at that,” Rodriguez said when asked about the photo. “We were ending the photo shoot, and I wanted to run out of there. I think Steven Klein was the photographer, and he was like, ‘let’s just shoot one more.’ And I’m like, ‘What? I just want to eat a burger. Let me get out of here.'”

Rodriguez specified that burgers weren’t part of his diet at the time, “but I was probably starving. Yeah, I just kissed the mirror, not even thinking. But I did a lot of things like that. I took my shirt off at Central Park and decided to get sun in the middle of the day.”

Rodriguez then talked about being a villain, saying that he developed a “robotic, tough… very serious” brand during his playing days. He didn’t make any excuses for his PED use, though.

“I cannot speak about anybody else,” he said. “If you’re asking about me, I think it started with taking full responsibility for my missteps. I paid a huge price: the longest suspension in the history of MLB for PED use. And while I was away, I took that year to reflect. I wanted to understand why I kept shooting myself in the foot. I wish it was in the foot, actually.”

Rodriguez clearly wants to keep rebuilding his brand and stop being “robotic.” While he clearly owns the PED debacle that got him suspended for all of 2014, he also seems to want to focus on the present day. It seems to be working for him, but unfortunately it looks like the days of Rodriguez kissing himself in the mirror are behind us.

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