RSS Feed

Jason Giambi: Role Model

Posted on

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.


Want to know ten reasons baseball is better than sex?

Click here!


One response »

  1. I believe it was Charles Barkley, the basketball player, who once commented to the effect that rather than complain about athletes not being good role models, maybe parents should become better role models themselves. Ah, here, from

    “I don’t believe professional athletes should be role models. I believe parents should be role models…. It’s not like it was when I was growing up. My mom and my grandmother told me how it was going to be. If I didn’t like it, they said, ‘Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out.’ Parents have to take better control.”

    I think he’s absolutely right about this. I admire athletes who give generously to charity (especially the ones who do so with little or no fanfare, as Mo Vaughn often did and, in retirement now, still does), the athletes who are loyal to their families even under the temptations and stresses of the big-league life, and the athletes who respect the media and fans, who speak well of their game and their opponents, who use their celebrity in honorable and even courageous ways (see Willie Horton: 1967 Detroit riots). But I don’t *expect* them to do these things or behave in these ways. That’s not fair. As a fan, my expectations must be limited to play on the field. (If a team organization has expectations of its own regarding off-field charity work by players, as most major-league clubs do, that’s a different matter and between the player and his employer.) If I’m expecting or depending on athletes to be role models for my children, then I’m not doing a very good job helping my children choose role models and I’m not being a good role model myself. But role-modeling is first and foremost a parent’s responsibility.

    I agree with you, Marcy, that Jason Giambi (“Giambi the Greater” as someone once called him in comparison with his brother Jeremy) is one of the good guys — and would be a good role-model choice, actually. Remarkably, I think, he has come out the other end of the steroid scandal with his reputation actually improved, and he did it by being both honest and contrite. Those are honorable qualities, worthy of both admiration and patterning.

    Thanks for these comments, Steve–you’ve added immeasurably to this topic.–MS

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s