If you’re the betting type, look for Commissioner Selig to fine or suspend Jason Giambi as early as today for veiled comments he made to USA Today about steroid use. No matter how flimsy a case MLB has to stand on, the Commissioner's Office has concluded their investigation into the matter, and it's time for MLB to "get tough". After that, let the dance begin...
Yes, the MLBPA will have a grievance filed faster than Ichiro to 1B.
Yes, any fines or suspensions would likely be overturned by an arbitor.
That’s academic in the overall as the ruling has as much to do with putting on a face as a “strong commissioner” as anything. Toothless rulings be damned, it shows that Selig is “serious” about the issue.
Baseball is the king in playing this game, and Selig has been riding high in the PR department by making the player’s union react. It worked for the steroid testing policy in place, and it will play out to the public as such on the Giambi ruling… or Bonds ruling, if anything unsavory comes out of the Mitchell investigation.
The issue of PEDs is a PR battle, as much as anything. The Giambi ruling, if it goes down as many suspect, will be as flimsy as a Joel Zumaya fastball through wet tissue paper.
This is a well worn page from the Commissioner’s playbook – make a strong ruling, regardless of whether you know it will get overturned. Just don’t read more than that into any ruling on Giambi at this point. Short of a positive test for PEDs, fines or suspensions are nothing more than window dressing.
Got something to say about the investigation into Giambi's comments? Don't forget to add your comments. Maury Brown is the founder and president of The Biz of Baseball and a contributor to Baseball Prospectus. He can be contacted here.