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Giambi to get a reprieve from Selig


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Giambi escapes punishment from baseball

td.yspwidearticlebody { font-size: 13.5px; }By IAN HARRISON

August 16, 2007

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TORONTO (AP) -- Jason Giambi escaped punishment from commissioner Bud Selig on Thursday because of the Yankee slugger's charitable work and cooperation with baseball's steroids investigator.

Selig, speaking on the second and final day of an owners meeting, called this an "appropriate decision."

Giambi has acknowledged a "personal history regarding steroids." He agreed to speak with former Sen. George Mitchell last month after Selig threatened to discipline him if he refused to cooperate.

"He's doing a lot of public-service work, and I think that's terribly important," Selig said. "I think it's more important for us to keep getting the message out. He was, I thought, very frank and candid with Sen. Mitchell, at least that was the senator's conclusion. Given everything, this is an appropriate decision."

Selig said June 21, before Giambi met Mitchell, that he would take "Giambi's level of cooperation into account in determining appropriate further action."

The commissioner said Mitchell was not expected to speak with any other active players.

"This was a special circumstance," Selig said. "I have no other plans."

No date has been announced for the release of Mitchell's report.

Giambi met Mitchell in New York on July 13, becoming the first active player known to talk with baseball's steroids investigator.

Mitchell and members of his law firm met with Giambi. The New York star's agent, Arn Tellem, and lawyer, Brian O'Neill, were present, along with Rob Manfred, executive vice president for labor relations in the commissioner's office, and players' union general counsel Michael Weiner.

Giambi, a former American League MVP, missed more than two months this season because of torn tissue in his left foot. He's batting .270 with nine home runs and 26 RBIs in 51 games.

On other matters:

-- The commissioner's office and the players' association are discussing the possibility of starting the 2008 season in Tokyo, with the Boston Red Sox, Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics under consideration along with the Toronto Blue Jays and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

-- Selig said the league does not intend to hold an official celebration to honor Barry Bonds for breaking Hank Aaron's home run record. "I think my statement was appropriate and I don't have any future plans," he said. When Bonds broke the record, Selig issued a statement saying, "While the issues which have swirled around this record will continue to work themselves toward resolution, today is a day for congratulations on a truly remarkable achievement." Asked whether he was happy with the way the record fell, Selig responded: "Look, it's fine; it's over, and I think I was." -- On the Florida Marlins' plans for a new ballpark, Selig said: "We need to make progress there. This team needs a new stadium. I've said many times I like South Florida. I think it's a major league market. But it's a major league market only if they get a new ballpark." -- Selig said he hopes to decide on the host of the 2010 All-Star game in the next month or so. "Then I'll determine 2011 and probably do a few of those. I'm going to try to go AL and NL alternating. I think that's fair, since it does determine the home-field advantage (in the World Series)."

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I think Selig did the right thing. I personally didn't care if Giambi got punished or not. But here is a player that is cooperating. You say you want to clean this up -- let him help.

I think letting him talk publicly about his use would be a good 1st step towards cleaning up the games image in the eye of the public.

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