Jason Giambi already was guaranteed to be a popular guest during Wednesday’s joint A’s/Giants baseball media luncheon, hosted by Comcast SportsNet. But in light of Alex Rodriguez’s recent admission about taking performance-enhancing drugs, Giambi was hit pretty good with questions about his former Yankees teammate. In 2005, Giambi gave a well-publicized apology about his involvement with performance-enhancing drugs, though he never used the word “steroid” or said specifically what he was apologizing for. But I was surprised how forthcoming he was about Rodriguez on Wednesday.
“I played a lot of years with ‘Rod.’ Hopefully this is a thing (where) you learn a lot about yourself as a player and as a human being. I know I learned a lot about myself when I (publicly apologized). You don’t really measure yourself as a man by your great accomplishments. Sometimes you measure it by your mistakes and how you work through them, doing the right thing. Maybe this is like a turning point in his career. I know when I did it, it was a tough thing but it was probably the greatest thing that ever happened to me because you learn a lot about yourself.”
Does he wish more accused players came out and addressed the issue of performance-enhancing drugs?
“That’s tough. I did what was best for me. I’m not gonna speak for anybody else. It was important for me to do the right thing. That was the most important thing and that’s what I did.”
On former A’s teammate Miguel Tejada, who plead guilty Wednesday to misleading Congress about performance-enhancing drugs: “I just read about it. It’s unfortunate for Miggy. He was like a little brother when I played (with him in Oakland).”
–Moving on to the actual baseball talk that took place Wednesday, A’s manager Bob Geren was asked about his first base situation. He reiterated that Giambi and Daric Barton could rotate there, but that Travis Buck will affect the situation. Translation: If Buck plays well enough to merit time in right field, that slides Jack Cust to DH and means Giambi sees more time at first, squeezing Barton out.
Geren also said: “Jason and Jack will both go into spring training (with the mindset) they’re going to play defense every day.” Read into that what you will …
–As for his starting rotation, Geren made a point of mentioning Edgar Gonzalez, recently signed to a minor league deal, as a candidate for the fifth spot along with Gio Gonzalez, Josh Outman and prospects Brett Anderson, Trevor Cahill and Vin Mazzaro.
Anyway, the next time I post here it will be from Phoenix, where pitchers and catchers report for spring training Saturday. I’ll be blogging often during camp, so check in frequently for your updates!