Jason Giambi won the new, fans choice, AL Comeback Player of Year Award. I made just that Nostradamus-like prediction over at Baseball Analysts in March, (I also predicted that Randy Johnson would win 30 games in NY, so, you know, I got that going for me).
Stephen Cannella thinks that Giambi winning the award is somehow a bad thing:
…. to those fans who bother to log on to the Web and cast ballots for awards bankrolled by erectile dysfunction aids, steroids are no big deal.
…. It’s also possible that Giambi — and every other major leaguer, for that matter — isn’t reformed. Baseball’s drug testing policy (especially its ignorance of the human growth hormone problem) simply isn’t strong enough to guarantee that the sport is clean.
Someone tell Jim Bunning: Fans don’t seem to care about that. For all the talk about scarlet letters and black marks on the game, fans are remarkably willing to welcome confirmed cheaters back into their good graces.
Let’s see….. How many ways is Cannella off-base here?
First, Giambi has never failed a drug test, and when he was using steroids, it wasn’t against baseball’s rules to do so, so he wasn’t cheating.
Second, in what country do we live in right now, Communist China? People make mistakes, all the time. People get opportunities to make things right, to change their ways, to amend, overcome and succeed in the face of previous failure, mistakes, lies, everything. Giambi managed to overcome the pressure of being the face of steroids, particularly when every asshole like Cannella was beating the drum of baseball in crisis because of the horror of someone having big muscles, in the center of the media world.
He handled himself with grace under pressure, and he succeeded. I thought he would, because I figured someone able to go from a 15th round draft pick to an MVP probably had some serious cojones. For Cannella to be bitter about someone’s recovery from such a setback is absurd, and sad.
Oh, and third, for Cannella to write that he thinks the drug testing policy isn’t strong enough, or has enough loopholes that someone in the public eye like Giambi could still be using undetected, well, that just lets me know that Cannella’s a moron, and a publicity-hound. His “disappointment” in the American public is laughable.