If and when Alex Rodriguez returns after the All-Star break, he better return as something considerably more than an average DH if he hopes to rescue the Yankees and win over fans, Old Timers told The Post yesterday.

“I think the PEDs is always going to be a big issue with him, and we don’t know what’s going to happen, what the facts are on the latest thing with the Biogenesis,” Roy White said. “The outcome of that would probably have a lot to deal with his legacy. If it turns out to be that he was involved in this, it’s really going to hurt his legacy with the Yankees. If he comes out cleaner on that, it’d be a lot better for him.”

Ron Blomberg is optimistic Rodriguez can spark the offensively-challenged Yankees. His legacy may depend on it.

“The Yankee fans are the Yankee fans,” Blomberg said. “Even if you like him, if you don’t like him, he wore the Yankee pinstripes.If he does well, if he starts off well, they’ll love him again. If he starts off slow, it’s going to come up. He has to start off strong.

“The Yankee fans, once you don’t do well and you got a few problems, they could create a whole monster, and that could create something that he won’t want to come back to the Yankees. But if he does well, he could be the kingpin again. He better do well.

“If he doesn’t do well, then he’ll be with me playing in Old-Timers’ Day.”

Joe Pepitone is hopeful Robinson Cano will see better pitches to hit with Rodriguez batting behind him in the order.

“It’s tough because of the writeups he’s been getting, the press he’s been getting, it’s going to be kind of tough to come back,” Pepitone said. “He better start off real good, because they’re going to use that to really get on him, and I hate to see that, but that’s the way it goes.”

Jim Leyritz, who watched Old-Timers’ Day festivities from the stands, maintains it won’t be easy for Rodriguez to win a not-guilty verdict in the court of public opinion.

“I think it’s going to be very difficult, especially with the cloud that’s over his head,” Leyritz said. “The only thing that I see that could possibly do it is that these dates on the clinic were before he admitted what he did. If this was after he admitted, and he still went back and did it, baseball has to consider possibly a lifetime ban.”Asked if Yankees fans will give Rodriguez a chance, Leyritz said: “It’s going to be tough. He’s going to have to hit that pivotal-moment home run or that pivotal-moment base hit to get everybody back. That’s the challenge he faces. Whether or not he’s tough enough, that’s what we’ll find out.”