05.13.05

Jason Giambi, Civilization’s Most Lauded Individual

Posted in Baseball at 6:43 pm by

Postgame coverage of the Yanks’ 13-9 thumping of the Mariners Thursday afternoon was heavy on the Jason Giambi inquiries. A-Rod, a dubious choice for character witness, procalimed Giambi to be “a great guy, a great person, one of the best teamates, ever.”

Like most persons with a functioning brain, the New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman is ready to pull the Bullshit Alarm.

Under a cloud cover of tantalizing angles, the central issue of Jason (The Giambalco) Giambi being a contributor to his own demise becomes harder to see.
While the steroids theme set the foundation for this story, the money issue is what really juiced it. Especially when high finance collides with a player who might have trouble getting around on a baseball sitting on a tee.

Naturally, with George Steinbrenner on the hook for $81 million for his Designated Flop, the media has been consumed with dollars and cents. Who wouldn’t be when Steinbrenner is paying the Gross National Product of a Third World country in return for a broken-down baseball player.

This is an irresistible hook for those who have made a cottage industry out of commenting on the Yankees’ astronomical payroll. It’s also an eye-popping area of exploration for anyone interested in the money game.

Of course, there are the more mundane parts of the story. Like when Bristol Clown Community College’s John Kruk and Harold Reynolds say Giambi just may have lost “his confidence.”

Wow, what a revelation.

Giambi’s downfall has been politely analyzed. This, perhaps, has much to do with him telling the truth while testifying before a grand jury. It’s hard to tear down someone perceived as a stand-up guy. The newspaper stories tell us how much his teammates love him. The TV pictures and sound bites show Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez saying how they are standing behind Giambi.

And yet, recent events – highlighted by Giambi declaring Tuesday that he would refuse a minor-league assignment – suggest this is all a lie.

For if Giambi were really concerned about the greater good of the Yankees, he would already be in Columbus, not in Oakland preparing to face hard-throwing Rich Harden tonight.

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