Mariners Analysis

Friday, February 11, 2005

Yankees getting what they deserved

The NY Times is reporting the Yankees tried to insert a clause regarding steroids in Giambi's contract, but were told to remove it before he would sign it- link (reg. required)
This means all the whining from Yankees fans and officials about Giambi letting the team down was being misinterpreted. We thought the position from the Yankee organization was disappointment that they signed this huge contract with someone who was using illegal steroids without their knowledge. Then with the big drop-off in production and injuries, the Yankees tried to act like they were holding damaged goods. It turns out this wasn't true at all.

Instead, the Yankees knew full well Giambi was likely a steroids user, but preferred to turn a blind eye as long as his numbers were good and the public didn't know about it.

Think about it for a sec. This story is absolutely huge.

Fans have wondered why we didn't have a tougher steroid testing policy. Fans have largely blamed the players. But here we have the top team in baseball, indeed one of the most popular, powerful TEAMS IN THE WORLD, knowingly signing a player they realize is using steroids.

And now that his steroid use is hurting the team- its image, its ability to beat the Red Sox and its payroll, the Yankees cry foul.

At least privately they do. We know they tried to void his contract, but were told in no uncertain terms they would lose. When this story first broke, I theorized here the Yanks execs didn't want to go before a union lawyer and explain what they did and did not know about Giambi's steroids use. Now we understand exactly what they did know.

So the Yankees and Giambi are stuck with one another. It is extremely unlikely Giambi ever returns to his former level. At the news conference, Giambi sounded like a broken man. His confidence is shot- he talks about not quitting, but isn't sure himself if he can hit major league pitching without help from a needle.

We will find out this spring if he can, but right now I'd say there's little chance he ever finds his confidence again.