In 2007, Jason Giambi apologized for all of baseball, while Alex Rodriguez was unapologetic while winning his third MVP. Five years later Bud Selig appears set on ensuring Rodriguez never puts on a major league uniform again while Giambi replaced Hank Aaron in the record books Monday.
Rodriguez was on his way to leading the AL in homers for a fifth time when the Daily News reported on the 2007 apology of Giambi (left photo, with Rodriguez trainer Greg Anderson in right photo):
For the last four years, Jason Giambi has been the one BALCO defendant who didn’t deny to the grand jury that he ever used steroids or human growth hormone, but yesterday, he went a step further.
“I was wrong for doing that stuff,” Giambi admitted to USA Today before the Yankees played the White Sox yesterday. “What we should have done a long time ago was stand up – players, ownership, everybody – and said: ‘We made a mistake.'”
Major League Baseball reportedly has more evidence against Rodriguez than they had against Ryan Braun. Further, a report Monday indicated that if Rodriguez appeals a ban, Commissioner Bud Selig will play a trump card by banning him from the game.
His name appears set to go down the Barry Bonds, as one of the greatest players of all time who will never be put into the Hall of Fame due to evidence of guilt.
Meanwhile, with one swing of the bat Monday, Giambi put his name next to Hank Aaron – who most will always accept as the true home run champion after discounting Bonds for cheating.
Giambi will never approach Aaron’s home run record, or overall status as one of the top few players in the history of the game. However, it was fitting that a player who admitted his mistakes and apologized for those of so many others would top Aaron for a moment Monday.
Giambi’s walk-off home run let him replace Aaron on one small mark – as the oldest player to ever hit a walk-off home run. Giambi came into the game hitting only .187, but his blast was his 7th homer in just 124 at bats this season – one of the top few ratios in the league.
He has found a way to contribute and provide leadership and example to a surprisingly strong, but young, Cleveland Indians team. Most important, he is winding down his career as a player who is admired by those to follow despite playing in an era that will not be fondly remembered in baseball history.