Despite admitting that he used performance-enhancing drugs (or “stuff”) in a USA Today article in May, Jason Giambi will not be punished by Major League Baseball. Commissioner Bud Selig announced today that he will not take any disciplinary action against the former American League MVP because he cooperated with Senator George Mitchell’s steroid investigation.
“Jason was frank and candid with Senator Mitchell. That and his impressive charitable endeavors convinced me it was unnecessary to take further action.”
Wait, let me get this straight, because he talked to Mitchell and has done what 99 percent of professional athletes do in their communities, he gets nothing for years of cheating. Nice. This whole “baseball is tough on steroids” era is off to a great start.
On June 6 – after the USA Today article was published – Selig said he wanted Giambi to “cooperate fully” with the Mitchell investigation or he could face a suspension. As part of the deal Giambi’s lawyers struck with the MLB, he would not discuss what he knew about other players. If you read between the lines, the entire purpose of the Mitchell investigation is to gather as much information as possible about Barry Bonds and his use of performance enhancing drugs. Giambi has been closely tied with BALCO and Bonds’ trainer Greg Anderson, who is currently in jail for refusing to testify about Bonds to a grand jury investigating him for perjury.
In 2003 Giambi told a federal grand jury that he injected himself with human growth hormone during the 2003 season. He also admitted that he had used several different types of steroids obtained directly from Anderson.
Just to give you some insight into this situation, Anderson is in jail currently for refusing to testify against Bonds. If he were to go before the grand jury and testify truthfully, it would become obvious that Bonds lied when he said he had never knowingly taken steroids. If Anderson testified that Bonds had no knowledge of his steroid use, then he would risk being prosecuted for perjury as well, given all the evidence to the contrary. A perjury conviction for Anderson (given his past record and other legal issues) would lead to a much longer jail sentence than the two and half years he is currently serving for refusing to testify. Also, it is worth noting that if he doesn’t testify, Anderson will likely get a hefty check from Bonds when he gets out of jail as a thank you.
But anyway, nice work Bud, you made an admitted steroid user tell some old guy what we already knew and allowed him to keep his mouth shut about other players. Then you make an example of him by not punishing him at all for his actions. Awesome. Keep cracking that whip big guy, I’m sure baseball’s legends really appreciate your efforts.
On the bright side, at least there was some good news today.