Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The Juice Man, One Year Later

It seems like a million years ago that Jason Giambi was on the cover of the New York Post, with the Post calling for the guy to be fired. It seems like a million years ago when the Yanks tried every way they could to get out of that ridiculous contract. It seems like a million years ago when the Giam-baby made a press conference and apologized for something.

Yet it was only about a year ago when Giambi made his infamous apology. And suddenly, he's a good guy all over again, as discussed in the Times by Tyler Kepner.

The Daily News, too,
has nice things to say about Giambi. One thing I found intriguing, however, was the mention that the Juice Man has gained significant weight since last year. Gee, I wonder how that happened?

Why is Giambi suddenly a hero? Did the guy stop taking the juice? Did he go back on the stuff? And if not the juice, then HGH? Or whatever designer product BALCO has in mind? The speculation still has to be there.

Giambi should still be getting the Barry Bonds treatment. Not much has changed since that press conference last year, except that Giambi's numbers were closer to his old self, closer to that goateed guy on the A's taking the clear, the cream, whatever. It brings to mind an excellent Mike Lupica piece from last year, discussing how Sheffield didn't get burned by the BALCO testimony because his numbers were far better than Giambi's in '04.

I think it's awful, simply awful, that the press is now giving Giambi a free pass. What's changed? What more do we know about Giambi that we didn't know on the day of that infamous New York Post cover story?

If anything, after last year's mysterious turnaround, I'm a lot more suspicious of the Juice Man now than I was after that February 10, 2005 press conference.


alex said...

i dont think you should assume he's on the juice just because he started performing again midway through the season. he started the season awfully and started playing well on may 9th. do you think he decided to take steroids on may 8th and all of a sudden it made a huge difference? no.

Manny Ortiz said...

I think it's a very strong possibility.

What else could've happened, he just suddenly found his stroke? From out of the blue? Mattingly taught him how to hit again? I don't think so. Didn't work for Tino, that's for sure.

I can't remember any other player going from so terrible to so great in such a short span. I think the juice, HGH, whatever it was, had something to do with it.

alex said...

he didnt need to be taught how to hit. keep in mind he was an mvp caliber hitter even when he wasnt on the juice.

remember he wasnt at full strength due to not being able to work out during his gland problem. it's quite possible that once he got his legs strong, he returned to form.

also dont discount the possiblity he was just in a bad slump. remember when jeter started the season hitting some awful average? wasnt it sub .200? then hit like 340 the rest of the season? pretty sure he's not on roids.

basebowl06 said...

I think he did it again because he can't live without his 1B glove. Giambi doesn't want to be a DH. Admit it, Giambi used steroids. But before that, he is a good hitter and there is nothing we can do about it. I know he can live without roids.

Manny Ortiz said...

basebowl: interesting theory. But where's the proof that he can hit without roids? Besides, I don't see the juice making a difference in his fielding; he sucks out there at first no matter what.

And besides, Alex, he wasn't just in a bad slump, he was in a terrible slump. At one point, Peter Gammons said that Giambi lead the league in pitches seen. He was afraid to take his bat off his shoulder. I wonder what gave him his confidence back....

Michael Leggett said...

He was sick-looking in May, '05. In July, '05, he was larger than life & it wasn't cheeseburgers. He had acne & was sweating up a storm.
Those are signs of "The Juice." Who is he kidding?

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