update, 2:00 pm - the more I think about this, the more I think that Philbrick really IS pulling our legs, and that this is all satire. If that is the case, then I may win the Gullible Award instead, for getting bamboozled like this.
double-update, 2:23 pm - yeah. It's satire. Me am idiot. Changes have been made accordingly. For those who are curious, I take my dunce caps in a size seven.
ESPN's Mike Philbrick has filed this report on Jason Giambi's resumption of hitting skill.
As we head into the final weekend of interleague play, there's one story that just isn't getting enough attention. Let's just say it -- the continued resurgence of Jason Giambi is nothing short of amazing.
There's a reason nobody likes to mention it - you will find it filed under "Gorillas, 800-pound, in room." Baseball has not really gotten a handle on testing; studied indifference is the best it can manage now that Bonds oozed his way past the Babe. Philbrick is here to play Jane Goodall for us.
Just take a look at a rough sketch of his career:
• Wins MVP with Oakland A's. [while on the juice]
• Awarded a $120 million contract from the Yankees.
• Admits in grand jury testimony that he used HGH and steroids. [see item #1]
• Cleans up his act. [Heheheheheh.]
• Suffers a series of health crises and hits just .208 in 2004.
• Wins AL Comeback Player of the Year in '05 (from you guys, the fans).
• Follows that season up with an MVP-caliber first half so far: He's hitting .271 with 23 home runs and leads the American League in slugging percentage while ranking second in OPS.
You really have to give credit to someone who cheated his way to an elite status in baseball, realized the error of his ways, sort of apologized and has come back as good as ever -- at age 35.
This is precisely why all that HGH and steroid usage is damaging to the sport. Is the Giambi, in fact, clean? His numbers may well be evidence that he's found a better way of cheating. All of the recent examples of people who've made athletic comebacks or extended their primes at age 35? Users. Raffi? Barry? McGwire? Guilty, guilty, and guilty. The man juiced, stopped, and subsequently dropped off a shelf. Did he recover his ability or just his medicine cabinet?
Read the rest. Philbrick's top ten at the end is terrific, and it finally convinced me that I'd been totally had by a great piece of writing. My literalociter was tuned up waaaaaay too high today.