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Baseball can't handle the truth
Last Friday, we discussed Jason Giambi's latest "apology," in which the Yankee said he was "wrong for doing that stuff" (the "stuff" presumably being steroids) and said that baseball as a whole should have apologized for the steroids mess a long time ago.
A reasonable and even laudable position, I felt, though I then tweaked Giambi for trotting out the canard that steroids don't help anyone hit home runs. Now it seems that we didn't give Giambi enough credit for daring to speak at least some of the truth given the sport's head-in-the-sand leadership.
Indeed, the official response to Giambi's comments from MLB and the Yankees has been: "The only one who's going to be sorry here is you." The commissioner's office reportedly wants to meet with Giambi, not to huddle as to how best to craft the game's apology to the fans for acting so late on steroids, but to see if they can get him to admit he took steroids after 2005 so it can suspend him. (Prediction: Fat chance.)
The Yankees, meanwhile, are looking once more into whether they can void Giambi's big contract, which runs through next season. Then there was GM Brian Cashman appearing last night on ESPN, managing to sound all self-righteous as he declared that the only people who should apologize for the Steroid Era are the players who shot themselves up with steroids.
Give me a break. Yes, the players who juiced should take the largest chunk of blame. Followed by their union, which was more concerned with protecting the juicers than the reputation, competitive position and health of the non-juicers. But there's plenty of blame for the owners and team executives too.
The owners were willing to look the other way for years as the steroid-fueled longball-bashing helped the game's financial health return after the '94 strike. They would threaten to introduce testing in each new labor agreement, but happily trade in the half-hearted proposal quickly as a chit in search of their main goal, a curb on salaries.
Teams, meanwhile, let the clubhouse be overrun by shady "personal trainers" and the like, even when (as Game of Shadows alleges in the case of Barry Bonds) they knew or had reason to know that some of these hanger-ons were connected to steroids.
For baseball officials to insist now that they had no idea that steroids might be part of the game until at the earliest, 1998 -- when Mark McGwire's infamous bottle of andro came to light -- is the height of hypocrisy. Yet they are sticking with the script. At least Casablanca's Captain Renault had the decency to nearly wink when he pretended to be "shocked" that there was gambling going on at Rick's.
Then again, maybe Bud Selig, Cashman and company are simply better actors.
(EDIT: Here's another it's-tough-being-Giambi nugget. Before Saturday afternoon's game against the Mets, Giambi tried to be a nice guy (and simultaneously avoid the press) by signing vigorously for the fans. Just as he turned away from a long autograph session, though, no fewer than three baseballs that fans had tossed his way for a signature conked him in the head. This account is from SI.com eyewitness Kevin Armstrong. No word if the balls were drawn by the gravitational pull of Giambi's enlarged noggin.)
posted by SI.com | View comments |
Giambi has the cojones to admit to juicing (however vaugely) without incriminating himself, and he's the bad guy? He should be applauded...
Giambi was already caught, though, in his leaked testimony in the BALCO investigation.
(That and everyone who took steriods was looking for that extra advantage.)
Most hilarious in this whole situation is the faux indignity displayed by Selig, regarding the record breaking home run. He had NO problem, 8 years back, when allthe home runs were filing the coffers left empty by the strike. My son is in third grade, and was taught, at least a year ago, that 70 home runs times 10 years equals 700.Was nobody doing the math, back then? And now Giambi is the bad guy? When did Karl Rove become deputy baseball commissioner? - Doc
I agree with the ever-omniscient McEntegart. It feels like deja vu all over again with regards to Giambi. We learned a few years back that he used the juice. The Yankees went through all the noise about voiding his contract, etc. Now he alludes to something we all already knew, and MLB is shocked and horrified? MLB may in fact be a study in moppishness.
You just couldn't do the story without getting in a dig at Barry Bonds, could you?
Mike Krukow was right.
Giambi is the worst thing that happened to the Yanks. Hasn't had a great season since 2002. He is owed over $20mil/yr through 2009 and is probably worth $3mil. Plus he has the taint of steroids making him worth even less. MLB will probably cooperate with he yanks in tearing up his contract for being a disgrace to the league.
Well written. Pete's the best!! Love the 10 spot.
I think we should blame Mexican pharmacists for allowing MLB players for buying roid and HGH without a prescription, make them apologize, LOL! = D It's the American way, let's blame someone else...just kidding!
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