According to the AP, Jason Giambi is reportedly calling for baseball to appologize to the American public for the sport's steroid problems.
With Barry Bonds only 11 home runs shy of breaking Hank Aaron's all-time home run record, I still never understand the dichotomy between Bonds and Giambi. One is booed everywhere he goes, and with each home run causes commissioner Bud Selig to sweat even more about how to handle this record-breaking performance. He reportedly testified about using to the BALCO grand jury in 2003. He is public enemy #1 in not only baseball but all sports in this nation.
The other also reportedly told the BALCO grand jury in 2003 that he took steroids. He then went on to appologize for "what he did" without actually saying anything specific. Even so, he now gets no worse treatment than any other opposing player.
Bonds is viewed as the worst human is sports. Giambi is just another ballplayer.
So when Giambi comes out and says baseball needs to appologize for the steroid scandals of the past few years, part of me is sick to my stomach that Giambi was able to essentially skate on this while Bonds takes the heat for every user out there. Giambi doesn't have to face any of the criticism because he isn't about to break the most revered record in sports. Bonds must live with that every day of his life.
It's easy for Giambi to have appologized. What were the repercussions for him? Really, what happened? Clearly nothing too serious because he's still playing and still looked at as a hated New York Yankee, not a hated steroids junkie.
Bonds on the other hand can't leave the Bay without hearing boos. And if he breaks Hank Aaron's mark of 755 when they are at any other park in the nation, the fans will treat him like T.O. returning to Philly -- it won't be pretty.
In this time of Giambi calling for baseball to appologize, let's look at what would happen if others even considered trying this. Bud Selig coming out and saying, "we messed up and should have had stricter testing and rules in the past." I don't see that being a big deal. Everyone already knows it. It's just nice to offer up that little bit of sorrow and guilt to the public eye. Hell, even if Bud Selig isn't sincere (which, by the way, Bud, here's a link to get the definition of that word) at least he's acknowledging that baseball messed up big-time. After all, it worked out pretty well for Giambi.
But if Bonds came out and issued the exact same appology word-for-word as Jason Giambi, what would be the result? Really, if he just read the exact same statement without mentioning what he was appologizing for, oh my goodness, he'd need more security than the president. Everyone would ask the same questions they asked Giambi, only with an even more unrelenting desire to finally get Bonds to admit to his alleged steroids use. He's now viewed as guilty in the public eye. A formal Bonds appology would be equivalent to a public lynching.
Even if Bonds wanted to appologzie, he won't. He can't afford to. At least not now. Much like Pete Rose couldn't admit to betting on baseball, Bonds cannot take the hit of actually coming clean (which, by the way, I think he clearly is now). Whatever Bonds was allegedly taking a few years ago, you have to think he's off it now.
Furthermore, if he was taking something, who's to say that no one else was either? Bonds has become the fall-guy for every steroid user out there. He is the martyr of this "cause" and he will be villivied for it forever.
Giambi said to the AP, "That stuff didn't help me hit home runs. I don't care what people say, nothing is going to give you that gift of hitting a baseball." He went on to add, "I was wrong for doing that stuff. What we should have done a long time ago was stand up -- players, owners, everybody -- and said, 'We made a mistake.'"
Reread that quotation again. I'll wait. Go on. Reread that.
Okay, once again Giambi is now saying, hey I used steroids. It didn't really help me, and I'm sorry. Are we cool? And somehow, someway we are cool. ARE YOU JOKING ME?!
No, Jason, we aren't cool. You cheated the game. You cheated in a time where everyone was cheating. That doesn't make it right, but you don't deserve to walk in the ballpark of public opinion while in that same ballpark Barry continues to get plunked.
Bonds will break this record in the next few weeks. Anyone who hopes or thinks otherwise is wrong. He's not going to retire when he gets to 754 and just stop swinging. Not only is that assinine, but it's unfair to his teammates who need him to be hitting the way he has been. Heck, he's the only bat in the Giants' lineup. So when 756 goes over the wall and into a mob of people looking to cash in on the million-dollar ball, don't forget that Bonds isn't the only villain here. He's just the most visible.
The other cheaters like Jason Giambi are no longer hiding under the steroids cloud. Instead they are hiding amonst the cloud cover provided by Bonds as he inches closer and closer to all-time infamy.