It was perhaps the most awkward public speaking moment of his life.
As Alex Rodriguez stepped up to a microphone on the field being renamed in his honor, a crowd of about 500 University of Miami players, coaches, alumni and supporters stood and cheered.
Behind them, several dozen media members sat and watched, interested not in Rodriguez's generosity but in his indiscretions.
So Rodriguez did what any savvy speaker would do.
He opened with a joke.
''As you all know, it's been a pretty quiet week for me,'' Rodriguez said. ``So it's good to get out on a Friday night.''
Rodriguez, a Miami native and resident, was honored at UM's preseason baseball banquet Friday, his first public appearance since he admitted using performance-enhancing drugs.
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