Alex Rodriguez plays with autistic children, continues to be less of a bad guy

Alex Rodriguez spent Friday morning making kids smile. This complicates things.Hi-Five w A-Rod for the Home Run on @HarlemRBI Field of Dreams!— Petra Tuomi (@petratuomi) May 8, 2015Rodriguez took his baseball talents beyond the Bronx, according to the New York Daily News. Alongside five Yankee teammates, he played at the Harlem RBI Field of Dreams with students from New York Center for Autism Charter School. It was, indisputably, sweet.  MORE: Rodriguez passes Mays | $6 million a small price to pay for A-Rod's rehabbed imageThis was supposed to be easy — a comic book case of good versus evil, of a sport's heel passing its heroes on the home run and hits lists, earning his due scorn. Rodriguez, fresh from serving a 162-game suspension for performance-enhancing drug use, entered the 2015 season carrying a cocktail of qualities that did not endear him to most baseball fans: Yankee pinstripes, good looks, vanity and a history of nationally televised lies. And soon, he'd be passing baseball's legends on the home run and hit lists with numbers possibly fueled not just by skill, but illegal substance. But you have to admit: Despite all of that, he's getting harder to hate.First, for a man in his age-40 season, Rodriguez still has some pop. And it's fun to watch. His seven home runs put him in top 10 territory, and his .351 OBP would outpace legends like Hank Aaron, Eddie Murray and Frank Robinson at the same age — which, you know, is both useless trivia and better than average. Second, Rodriguez has managed to say all the right things as the Yankees refuse to pay him bonuses for reaching home run milestones. And even as he reaches those milestones, including Thursday's overtaking of Willie Mays for fourth all time, Rodriguez's graciousness is overshadowing, well, the shadow hanging over his numbers."Nobody will ever pass Willie Mays," Rodriguez — gasp — humbly said to reporters after hitting home run No. 661. "I talked about him being my father's favorite player. There's only one Willie Mays. Not only what he did on the field but what he meant off the field."And most recently, in that spirit of off-field impact, Rodriguez continued to drain his detractors of reasons to dislike him. Cameras captured the scene on Friday as Rodriguez's megawatt smile was met and matched by local children with autism. Rodriguez high-fived them. He coached them. And he paid them a pretty sweet compliment when asked about what it meant to overcome Mays and reach his latest milestone: that this game on East 100th Street was better.“There’s no comparison (with the home run)," Rodriguez said, according to the Daily News's Roger Rubin. "This is what it’s all about."What a great day for #baseball in @HarlemRBI w/ @nycacs & @Yankees for #playerstrust #cityclinic

夜网论坛— Players Trust (@PlayersTrust) May 8, 2015It tugs at your heart just a little bit. Admit it. The Ghost of Baseball's Purest Past won't smite thee for your infidelities.