Jason Giambi: Martyr

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Jason Giambi agreed today to chat with George Mitchell, the loneliest man in sports. Giambi agree to talk about his personal use of performance enhancing drugs, but not much else. Giambi was essentially forced to speak with Mitchell or risk some sort of punishment from baseball commissioner Bud Selig. As you might recall, Bud hired George over a year ago to produce a comprehensive report on the use of PEDs in baseball.

Okay, stop laughing. Yeah, the Mitchell plan is a farce. Giambi is the first – and probably only – player to speak with Mitchell. That’s because Selig has no power to compel anyone to speak with the investigator.

From the beginning the Mitchell Plan has been a joke – a woeful effort by Selig to somehow get to the bottom of baseball’s biggest embarrasment and, in essence, get past it. Please. Mitchell could infuse post-game spreads throughout baseball with truth serum and not discover any more than we already know – the use of PEDs in baseball was rampant and perhaps even tacitly enabled by baseball itself. Duh.

The Mitchell Plan is going nowhere. Selig should just call of the high-priced dog, hold a press conference announcing all he knows, then apologize for baseball’s shame. Stop the Mitchell Farce. Stop praying for Barry Bonds to go away. Stop being holier than thou and simply say: We’re sorry. It was wrong. And it will never happen again (even though we know it will).

But Bud won’t do that because he thinks he can’t. One of my colleagues on SNY’s “Daily News Live” said it best: The Mitchell Plan, he ofference, has become baseball’s Iraq war. Insanity with no end in sight.

The only thing SElig has accomplished is to make Giambi a martyr. After the Yankee DH spoke about PEDs in an article published by USA Today Selig hunted him down and harassed him into speak to Mitchell. The players union acquiesced, but the whole thing only created more sympathy for Giambi, who’s one of the few former PED users to come clean – or relatively so – publicly and show contriteness.

Giambi is not the problem, Baseball is, and the sooner Selig realizes it the better off the game will be.

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7 thoughts on “Jason Giambi: Martyr

  1. Curt Schilling says:

    George Mitchell is NOT loney.

    He is busy depositing his paychecks from steroids-based theater shows.

    He runs ESPN
    He runs MLB
    He run the Boston red Sox
    He runs the Florida Marlins
    He runs DLA Piper attorneys

    I assume he runs the drug deals too.

  2. gzino says:

    Farce and insanity describe it well. Baseball players used PEDs when there were no MLB rules against it, and end up on Capitol Hill. Football players use PEDs when there are NFL rules against it, and end up on the sidelines for a few games. Part of issue is baseball looked the other way for a few years, but no Investigation, Plan, or Farce is going to change that – it only makes it worse. Not saying anyone should use PEDs, or that the situation in the NFL is “right”, but it shows how poorly Selig has handled this when you compare how he’s handled it to how his counterparts have handled it, and MLB has suffered as a result.

  3. I’d rather the players union agree to let the league ban perfomance enhancing substances and let’s move on or face severe penalities for players who violate. The damage is done. Let Bonds, Sosa and the rest in hall of shame….fame. Bud Selig is the person who should resign for turning his back on this problem.

  4. WB says:

    The game of baseball has brought this upon itself. I have respect for a person like Giambi for coming clean; and unlike Jose Canseco, cleansing himself for reasons outside of financial gain. It’s not just the power hitters who are juicing, it’s been a good portion of the league. So far, statistics show the majority of PED users to be pitchers (which makes perfect sense given the toll of pitching on shoulders). Instead of pointing fingers at a few, it’d be nice for Selig to act like Giambi and take responsibility for baseball; the game which he commissions. But that won’t happen as he’s spineless.
    The PED era was one of ugliness, but don’t kid yourself into thinking this era is anywhere near finished. And the ugliness came from players pitching the ball to players hitting it. Who remembers Brady Anderson hitting about 50 homers in a year and never doing anything remotely close to it before or after? What about these pitchers throwing 100+mph in the 7th-8th inning? What about HGH???? It would be a perfect ending to an ugly era if Don Catlin from UCLA developed a reliable HGH test and this test was sprung on the players without any notice or information leaks to the union. If you toss in the NFL at the same time you’d find that the majority of our sports idols are not the pure people we would want them to be; but they are athletes doing whatever it takes to compete and win at the highest level; while securing their financial future.

  5. I know that this has nothing to do with the post but…I saw you on BET tonight!! 🙂

  6. t. h. says:

    I think it was Jason Giambi’s idea that MLB – including the owners, players, and presumably the commissioner himself – should stand up and apologize to the fans for the apparent widespread use of steroids by the players for more than a decade. Not surprisingly, he was called on the carpet to account for such arrogance. Considering his reported admissions before the grand jury investigating BALCO, he should be the last person to set the rules, and if Selig is to have any credibility at all in preventling steroid abuse in the future, he could not have reacted in any other way because Giambi forced his hand. It’s simple. Selig wants to hear it from the horse’s mouth, not secondhand through Fainaru-Wada, Williams, and whatsis, Conte’s colleague who leaked the testimony in the first place. Giambi is not being made a martyr; he’s got a big, fat cushion of $120 million, unlike the track and field athletes facing penury after having to submit to USADA’s Orwellian standard of the “non-anylitical positive,” which is reminiscent of this administration’s position on the Geneva Convention.

    Jason Giambi is apparently not bright enough to realize that if Selig were to apologize to the fans on his own behalf as well as the league’s and the owners’, it would be the equivalent of an admission of guilt. That would sure work out well for Giambi, who, like most jocks, has had his behind kissed his whole life by teachers, coaches, journalists, and fans, in what William Rhoden calls the “Conveyor Belt” syndrome. He’s not a martyr and he’s sure not a hero.

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