Reading through numerous articles on N.Y. Yankee Alex Rodriguez\u2019s most recent public apology for doping \u2014 almost required before his return to the field \u2014 it\u2019s hard not to feel like people are forgetting what a real apology looks like. Too many seem impressed by his handwritten statement to his fans, blind to the fact that his \u201capology\u201d was anything but. First of all, an apology shouldn\u2019t be viewed as an opportunity to present excuses. For instance, disgraced L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling \u201capologized\u201d for racist remarks he made on tape to a former girlfriend by telling CNN\u2019s Anderson Cooper that he was baited into it: \u201cI don\u2019t know why the girl had me say those things.\u201d Kanye West once blogged this \u201capology\u201d after he kept fans waiting for two hours for a concert: \u201cI am sick of negative people who just sit around trying [to] plot my downfall ... I\u2019m sorry ... sometimes I go 2, 3 days without sleep working on my performance ... I have to ice my knees after every show ... having an expensive stage cuts my payday in half ... \u201d Kanye\u2019s apology seems more like a request for his fans to apologize to him.A sincere apology involves more than a mere admission of wrongdoing. Expressing regret isn't enough A-Rod took a page from Kanye\u2019s blog in his most recent \u201capology\u201d: \u201cI accept the fact that many of you will not believe my apology or anything that I say at this point.\u201d Thanks for reminding us of the obvious, Alex. By the same token, simply expressing regret accomplishes little. It keeps the focus on the feelings of the wrongdoer rather than on those wronged. Last year, former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford \u201capologized\u201d for yet another alcohol-fueled rant caught on video: \u201cI just wanted to come out and tell you I saw a video. It\u2019s extremely embarrassing. The whole world\u2019s going to see it ... it\u2019s extremely embarrassing. I don\u2019t know what to say. Again, again and again, I\u2019m apologizing.\u201d No, Mr. Ford, that\u2019s not apologizing. That\u2019s merely admitting what everyone already knew: That you\u2019re an embarrassment. Making a real apology A real apology should include an explanation of why the initial act was wrong and an acknowledgment of how it hurt others. We saw an example last week, when Seton Hall\u2019s Sterling Gibbs immediately wrote a series of tweets apologizing for hitting Villanova\u2019s Ryan Arcidiacono during a basketball game. Among them: \u201cMan that\u2019s not who I am. I\u2019m sorry to my family, friends, fans, and team for being an embarrassment. Even more sorry to @RyArch15. I let my emotions get the best of me and that wasn\u2019t acceptable at all. I hope you\u2019re all right and I will face any consequences coming. Sorry again @RyArch15, it really is weighing heavy on my heart.\u201d By contrast, A-Rod waited until the last possible moment before spring training to release his handwritten \u201cMedia Culpa\u201d despite having an entire year to do so. A sincere apology doesn\u2019t stop at admitting, regretting and explaining. To truly apologize, one must do everything in one\u2019s power to make it right. Smearing others Lance Armstrong\u2019s 2013 interview with Oprah Winfrey featured a disastrous \u201capology\u201d in which he failed to address the many innocent (and honest) people he\u2019d smeared and sued for telling the truth about him as he lied. A-Rod\u2019s most recent \u201capology\u201d reveals how much he believes in Lance\u2019s never-look-back philosophy: \u201cThe commissioner has said the matter is over. The Players Association has said the same. The Yankees have said the next step is to play baseball. I\u2019m ready to put this chapter behind me and play some ball.\u201d In other words, all is already forgiven, so there\u2019s no need to discuss the many, many people I\u2019ve branded as liars and cheats in my attempts to cover my tracks. Looking in the mirror Thankfully, A-Rod closed his \u201capology\u201d with some hopeful signs that he\u2019s learned how to do so sincerely: \u201cI\u2019m here to take my medicine\u2026 I think this is a tremendous opportunity for me to look in the mirror and be a better teammate to my guys over there. Be a better player to my fans, a better human being ... But I think the only thing I ask from this group today and the American people is to judge me from this day forward.\u201d Oh, wait \u2014 that was the end of his 2009 \u201capology,\u201d the one he gave at the start of spring training after the first time he got caught doping. Nowhere in either of his \u201capologies\u201d does he admit taking performance-enhancing drugs \u2014 he only did that when faced with federal prosecutors. Rodriguez doesn\u2019t understand that when one doesn\u2019t mention the reason one is apologizing, one isn\u2019t actually apologizing. A-Rod can write about \u201ctaking full responsibility\u201d all he wants. Sorry, but I don\u2019t buy it. You can read more at RobertFWalsh.net and contact him at rob@RobertFWalsh.net or follow him on Twitter @RobertFWalsh.