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Jason Giambi: Role Model

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Let me begin by saying that I’m not one of those people who think athletes have an obligation to serve as role models of morality for the kids who worship them. That’s one of the reasons usually named in the litany against athletes whose behavior deviates in any way from the straight-and-narrow. I see no reason why someone who can swing a bat from here to Kingdom Come has to live up to fans’ ideals of righteous living; those who demand such a thing, in my opinion, have a lot of chutzpah. It just so happens, though, that Jason Giambi, simply by living through his own trials and tribulations, has unwittingly become a role model–or at least a good case against steroid use.


Giambi is one of the few baseball players to admit having taken steroids. Since he’s been honest about it, we can believe it when he says he’s stopped taking them. The irony is, Giambi was sick as a dog when he was on drugs, and his performance suffered dismally. Last season and the year before he had some wretched physical ailments, and he looked like a zombie. Now that he’s stopped taking drugs and has begun the healing process, he’s playing better, at the age of 37, than he has in years. Not exactly a walking ad for steroid use.

Then there’s the matter of the golden thong: without so much as a blush, Giambi recently admitted to wearing a gold lamé thong whenever he’s struggling out of a slump. Not only that–he’s shared his thong with other Yankees, who swear the thing works. I realize that some people might not think this is great role model behavior–but kudos to Giambi for being without shame about a minor touch of kink. Between that, the bristly moustache and a few lost pounds, Giambi’s exuding sensuality, a sure sign of robust health. Put simply–the guy is HOT .

Yankee manager Joe Girardi points to Giambi’s health as the main reason he’s been grand-slamming and tearing up the field lately. “He’s been healthy, he’s been strong, he’s running well, he’s been playing good defense,” Girardi said. “It’s good to see guys come back when they’ve had some injury-plagued seasons — to come back, rebound and do the things that you’re used to seeing them do.”

So here’s to you, Jason Giambi: You went down the dark path and came back a better player, possibly a better person. You did it for yourself, not for anyone else–but don’t think it’s gone unnoticed or unappreciated.

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The Devil’s In The Details: Tampa’s Name Change

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(Updated October 24, 2008, at end of post.)

First time I heard about the Tampa Bay Devil Rays dropping the Devil from their name was last week, in the aftermath of the rumble with the Yankees down in Florida. Which just goes to show that what’s in a name isn’t always descriptive: a Devil by any other name can still raise hell a-plenty. You can see the whole skirmish here—it shows the fight while a talking head supplies the background of who did what to whom and when. In the wake of the battle, players from both teams got suspensions to be enforced at the start of the season. I’m wondering what an incident like this before the season even starts might mean for Joe Girardi’s management, not to mention Steinbrenner Junior’s custodianship of the Yanks. We’ll have to wait to find out–but meanwhile, 1934867182_c51e41a081_m.jpgthe Rays’ name change should not go unnoticed.

My first thought was that some Christian fundamentalists had pressured the team to stop glorifying the forces of evil, but my research turned up nothing in this vein; however, the Church of Satan did weigh in.

Although the true reason behind the name change remains unclear, the head of the Church of Satan, Magnus Peter H. Gilmore, believes the team made the move to spite the church.”We were in the midst of negotiations for the souls of some of their players when thecos-smalln.jpg organization low-balled us and we had no choice but to walk out.”

For a minute I thought I’d stumbled onto the website of The Onion, but in fact this was on a blog called The Serious Tip. I’m told it’s a joke, but it reads like the gospel (ahem) truth to me!

Tampa Bay claims they gave the Devil his due in the hopes of reinventing the team and climbing out of the cellar this season. Whatever their reason, Tampa Bay, or The Rays as they’re now called, have proven that changing a team’s name isn’t a major trauma with monumental logistical problems. As owner Stuart Sternberg put it, “We were tied to the past, and the past wasn’t necessarily something we wanted to be known for.”

That said, I am taking this golden opportunity to raise, yet again, one of my ongoing baseball issues: the powers that be in Major League Baseball should ask, or encourage, or even demand, that the Cleveland Indians trash their outdated, racist name, and their offensive logo along with it. I’m not saying they should call themselves Native Americans—just something, anything, that isn’t an insult to the indigenous people of this country. If the Devil can be ousted, then surely a symbol of ignorance and racism can be quietly retired.

October 24, 2008: Is it some kind of miracle? They drop Satan from their roster and suddenly Tampa Bay is the hottest property in Major League Baseball. As of this writing, they’re one-on-one with the Phillies in the World Series, and I must say I greatly enjoyed watching them kick Red Sox butt. After watching them play the Phillies, I’d say Tampa has a better than even chance of becoming World Champions. I’m rooting for them, even though they now constitute a serious future threat to my Yankees, unless this year is a one-shot fluke. Who can resist this story? Besides, I feel a bond with the Rays: this post brought more viewers to my site than any erotic story I’ve posted, and nearly as much as other sex-themed material. The number’s over 1400 and counting. To give you an idea of what that means, my post on the film Tropic Thunder drew 270 readers, average for a non-sexual topic; the one on the Masturbate-a-thon got 839 hits, about average for sex. People Google “Tampa Bay Devil Rays name change” and they end up here. I hope some of you guys stick around to read some of my other stuff. Meanwhile...Play Ball!

 

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