As the Scapegoat Du Jour is apparently unwilling to pick a fight with the Commissioner’s Office, how soon before Tom Hicks is threatened with a suspension? Fromt the New York Daily News’ T.J. Quinn.

Jason Giambi is expected to become the first active player to agree to speak to baseball’s Mitchell Commission on doping today, handing Bud Selig a major victory, but also angering many players who feel Giambi is being punished for speaking the truth.

Talks over the details were not resolved last night, sources said, but by all accounts, Giambi is prepared to speak to former Senate Majority leader George Mitchell’s investigators on the condition that he is asked questions only about his own steroid use, his BALCO grand jury testimony in 2003 and general questions about performance-enhancing drugs in baseball. An announcement is expected to be finalized this morning and announced later today.

The Giambi affair is also likely to be a preview to any action Selig might take with Barry Bonds. If Bonds is indicted – possibly next month – on perjury or tax-evasion charges, Selig will probably try to suspend him, drawing a union grievance. If the grand jury is dismissed without bringing an indictment, Selig may try to force Bonds to speak to Mitchell’s investigators. Unlike Giambi, it is doubtful that Bonds would give in without a fight.

The New York Sun’s Steven Goldman argues that both NY ballclubs blew it when the Cubs shipped battlin’ backstop Michael Barrett to San Diego yesterday in exchange for backup receiver Rob Bowen. And I concur — how terrific would it have been to see Barrett punch Roger Clemens or Billy Wagner in the face?