Sunday, May 20, 2007
(This post was penned by OMDQ; tell him how much it sucks at firstname.lastname@example.org)
As just about everyone knows by now, Jason Giambi opened his mouth on Friday and told USA Today that Major League Baseball and Bud Selig owe fans an apology for allowing steroid use to go unchecked for so long in the game.
Giambi probably didn't think much of the comments as he was making them, but days later he has found himself in some hot water. Because the quote in USA Today included the phrase, "I was wrong for doing that stuff," the word on the street is that Selig wants to have a little chat with the Yankee slugger and the team might once again consider voiding his contract.
Since missing half of the 2004 season and struggling at the start of 2005, Giambi has posted decent numbers. While his OPS is obviously lower than it was in his prime, he is still hitting homeruns, driving in runs and consistently drawing walks. Right now he is mired in a slump and bothered by a foot injury, so maybe the Yankees are considering this a sign of things to come and planning to void the remainder of the deal. Or maybe they just want to at least put on a public appearance of zero tolerance with regards to steroids.
Here's what I'd like to think happened: Selig picked up the paper on Friday, saw Giambi's comments and immediately place a call to Brian Cashman, with the gist of the message being, "Take care of this." After trying for the last few years to deal with the issue of current steroid use in the game while sending perceived lame duck George Mitchell after those from the past, the last thing Selig wants is to see players, especially a former MVP who plays for the most valuable franchise in the game, coming out on their own and admitting to use. With Mitchell, the amount of information that is disseminated can theoretically be controlled. With cases such as Giambi's, they can't.
So Selig tells Cashman to take care of the problem and Cashman responds by circulating rumors that the Yankees are looking into voiding Giambi's contract as an indirect threat to any other player who is considering "coming out". Because who wants to lose out on a good contract and face a potential blackball by the baseball estalishment (Jose Canseco doesn't look so silly anymore, does he?) with nothing except peace of mind in return? It's at least a little bit possible, right?