With most reports from Tampa have Yankees 1B Jason Giambi being greeted warmly by fans, Newsday’s Ken Davidoff would like to know, well, why?
Having watched Giambi receive a hero’s welcome at Legends Field, and pretty close to it on the road yesterday, we can’t understand why so many people cut so much slack for this guy.
Obviously, Fenway Park will be brutal, but considering how many Yankees fans visit other ballparks, friendly road crowds like this one figure to be common for Giambi — at least until he hits his first slump.
“It’s humbling to go back and see that,” Giambi said after going 1-for-4 in the Yankees’ 9-8 loss to Detroit.
“It’s exciting to see.”
We get it that Giambi seems to be a good person. He always has displayed a smooth touch with fans, and he signed autographs non-stop for 10 minutes before yesterday’s game. We’d guess that if our car broke down and Giambi drove by, he would stop and get out his jumper cables — whereas Derek Jeter would just shrug and step on the gas, and Gary Sheffield would help only if we guaranteed the interest on his deferred money.
But Giambi has emitted the whiff of fraudulence since even before he signed his seven-year, $120-million deal with the Yankees. Far too often, his actions have clashed with his words. And people seem to prioritize the words.
It was his childhood dream to be a Yankee … yet he dragged out negotiations back in December 2001 as he tried to get a few more pennies from George Steinbrenner. He prides himself on being a gamer … yet he didn’t object when Joe Torre benched him in Game 5 of the 2003 World Series. He wants children to think of him as someone facing his problems, not running from them … yet he has spoken in only the vaguest terms about his past, and he wants no part of the March 17 congressional hearing.
And these fans seem to forget that Giambi has failed them in the area in which they care the most. The Yankees, for one, seem convinced that Giambi’s inability to keep himself in “first-class physical condition,” as his contract dictates, resulted from both his steroid use and his love of partying — and produced his meager stats last year.
“It was sad,” said John McGinty, a Yankees fan who lives in Boston. “But you give people a chance. That’s what this is all about.”
We’d feel better about granting a second chance if we received a full mea culpa about the initial mistakes. Or, short of that, at least an honest explanation of why he won’t tell us everything — something like, “Folks, ain’t no way I’m giving up that $82 million.”
Alas, we’re left with the reality that nearly everybody loves Jason. And that cheating and lying don’t offend you as much as they do us.
I think Davidoff is taking the small sample of senior citizens and baseball degenerates that attend exhibition games and drawing an incorrect conclusion. The rapport between fans and players at Spring Training is slightly different — heck, even Barry Bonds, who charged $5000 for the opportunity to shake his hand earlier in the year, was seen signing autographs (for free) last week. Once the season starts, if Giambi is struggling to stay in the lineup, never mind hit .230, even the most dedicated Pinstripes Apologists aren’t gonna spare him a monumental amount of abuse.
5 thoughts on “Davidoff Wonders When Giambi’s Rough Ride Will Begin”
did davidoff drink some of heyman’s coffee before writing this groundless attack on giambi’s character? i am no huge fan of jason, but these criticisms are mean,meaningless and silly.
“It was his childhood dream to be a Yankee â€¦ yet he dragged out negotiations back in December 2001 as he tried to get a few more pennies from George Steinbrenner.”
so now it is a crime to (have your agent) negotiate a tough deal? since it was a childhood dream, i guess he should be playing for free.
“He prides himself on being a gamer â€¦ yet he didnâ€™t object when Joe Torre benched him in Game 5 of the 2003 World Series.”
oh, he should have ripped torre in the press, sulked on the bench, and acted like, well, sheffield. now quietly complying with the skipper’s decision and being a good team member is a sign of ‘not being a gamer.’ please.
“He wants children to think of him as someone facing his problems, not running from them â€¦ yet he has spoken in only the vaguest terms about his past, and he wants no part of the March 17 congressional hearing.”
oh, he is betraying ‘the children.’ so he should toss himself under the legal bus to satisfy davidoff’s conception of the image ‘the children’ need, not what his high powered legal advisors have told him to do (smile, sign, and shut up). i think jason is wise to stick with his advisors, not with davidoff’s suggesstions.
“The Yankees, for one, seem convinced that Giambiâ€™s inability to keep himself in â€œfirst-class physical condition,â€ as his contract dictates, resulted from both his steroid use and his love of partying â€“ and produced his meager stats last year.”
hey ken, let me remind you of a relevant fact–DUDE HAD A BRAIN TUMOR! brain tumors tend to sap your physical condition a bit. of all the players on the yankees and throughout mlb on steroids, he drew the short straw a got a pituitary tumor (if it was steroid related, which is likely but by no means a medical certainty–i wonder what type of review of the medical facts davidoff has done to relate the tumor to giambi’s steroi/hgh use, or if ken just assumes this to be a fact as well).
jason has given an honest and truthful explaination as to why he has not told all–his lawyers told him not to. if that frustrates you as a journalist and you have to devote some efforts in other areas to find news, ken, too bad. or, short of that, just attack jason’s character with pebbles and illogic. another prime example of what is wrong with the new york sporting media. at least heyman is funny when he rips someone.
This came up with I know a guy whose a die-hard Met fan that thinks Giambi deserves another chance because “at least he admitted it.” Well, sort of … more like it was forced out of him … I think Giambi’s looking more sympathetic to fans because a) he’s not Barry Bonds or McGwire breaking records, b) he’s off the needle now, and c) last year he alone was on the cover of the NY POST as a “BUM,” not sheff or anyone else. It feels now like he’s one of many, many players who used them. Also, when you think about the numbers Sosa, McGwire, and Bonds put up on juice compared to what Giambi did, I think fans are just accpeting that Giambi will always look mediocre and overpaid whether he’s on steroids or not.
What’s weird to me is that A-ROD gets twice as much shit as Giambi and Shefflied combined. Yankee fans, go figure.
thanks for the info. i am a physician, i did not mean to sandbag. the exact or even general nature of dude’s tumor (to my knowledge) has not been disclosed (anterior, posterior, or of non-pituatary cell origin, like a benign neuroma). although, as the tumor was treated non-surgically, it was likely an anterior adenoma, ironically it was likely treated with a course of corticosteroids (which are related to anabolic steroids in name only). but this is guessing territory. it is not an unreasonable guess that exogenous administration of human growth hormone could result in a benign anterior pituitary adenoma, but i am going to make a reasonable guess that this is far beyond the analysis done by 99% of the sports media, who have just assumed the tumor is a direct consequence of performance enhancing drug use. such assumptions is piss-poor journalism.
thanks for letting us know what you do for a living, along with the refresher course in brain tumors. I included the above link not to specifically school you, but rather, given that you were describing the probable effects of such a tumor, I thought some confirmation was in order. For example, some of us who didn’t attend medical school (and Ken Davidoff probably falls under such a category) might not have known where the pituitary gland was located. Rather than take your word for it (and keep in mind, this is before you identified yourself as a medical man), I helpfully provided some background.