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Giambi Takes Courageous Stand

Giambi Takes Courageous Stand

Jason Giambi has become my new hero, and you don't know how much it pains me to say this. Not because I have anything personally against him. I have interviewed Giambi countless times over my 11 years covering the Major Leagues, and he was never in my most or least favorite categories. Some times Giambi, could be extremely talkative, other nights not so much. Actually I had never really formed a strong opinion about the man during my interaction with him. But the reason it pains me to admit that he is my new hero is he is a member of the New York Yankees. If you are a frequent visitor of this site, you know that I, am originally from New England, and grew up a Red Sox Fanatic.That automatically, makes me a Yankees hater, it's either in the genes or the water, scientists have yet to determine the actual cause. But in spite of that Jason Giambi has become my new hero because of the courageous stand he has undertaken.

Giambi on Wednesday in an interview with USA Today's Bob Nightengale said he regrets that he took steroids, and that Major League Baseball should have apologized to their fans long ago. Giambi stated that players and owners should have stood up, admitted mistakes were made put rules in place and moved forward. Instead of that happening MLB just refused to acknowledge the mistakes made. I don't know if you realize the guts it took for Giambi to make these statements. For every member of the media like me that lionize the man, there will be ten others who will take him to task. In the next few days you will read in your local newspaper, or on other websites, media members taking Giambi to task. They will chastise for indicting other players, and the game in general. Other's will ask what took him so long to admit to his guilt, and this is just a publicity ploy.

And don't think for a minute that this is going to be sitting well with MLB. Donald Fehr and the player's union must be going out of their collective minds. And any player who has taken a steroid or even a steroid precursor, will see Giambi as Public Enemy Number One. And other players will be angry at Giambi, even if they have never ingested anything stronger than a vitamin, just on principle. They will perceive Giambi as a "stoolie" someone who has betrayed the confidentiality of the clubhouse. And also Bud Selig and the MLB owners are not going to be pleased. This is exactly the opposite of the "Ostrich Mentality" they have tried to use as a defense these last few years. Giambi is saying this just doesn't fly. And this coming down when Barry Bonds who has more of a cloud hanging over his head than any other player in the game today, is on the precipice of breaking Henry Aaron's record for career home runs. Not exactly the type of statement you want coming out on the eve of an event that is already shrouded in controversy.

I don't know why Jason Giambi chose to unburden himself at this time and in this way. However this can be a golden opportunity, for MLB to make a clean breast of things. Hopefully Fehr and Selig have already spoken and will be soon be having a joint press conference making that apology to the fans that Giambi asked for. It is a chance once and for all to put a very sad chapter behind them. Hopefully, but unfortunately doubtfully. One final coda; I have a friend in the Cleveland Media that over the last couple of years, when ever Giambi went on a hot streak, he would start spouting that Giambi was back on the juice. I secretly believe most of the reason he would say this was because he knew it would get a rise out of me, challenging him that with the testing going on Giambi would be out of his mind to take the chance. I can't wait to hear his reaction when he finds a copy of this article in his e-mail.

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Matt, do you foresee any similarties between baseball's reaction to Jim Bouton after Ball Four and how Jason Giambi will be treated in the wake of these (and possibly subsequent) comments?

I admire his courage in speaking out, especially while still in the game. I just have to wonder if it was the best career move. I mean, why now? Why not play this year and next, retire, and THEN write a tell-all book?

I think Jason did the classic "speak without thinking" here, and his comments are going to come back to haunt him. MLB is already looking into what he said, and I think he would have been MUCH better off waiting till his career was over before coming out and talking. Personally, I wouldn't be shocked to see Barry Bonds talk once his career is over as well.

Giambi gets some props from me for speaking out, but I think blaming baseball is kind of weak. You either cheated or you didn't. Don't shift the blame to someone or something else.


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