As you may have heard, Allan “Bud” Selig, the Commissioner of Baseball, has reacted to Jason Giambi’s comments about steroid use in baseball to USA Today last month, by issuing a statement to the press, demanding that Giambi to cooperate with the Mitchell Commission’s investigation into the use of performance-enhancing drugs in baseball, by Thursday, or face discipline. Various outlets report that negotiations for Giambi to appear before former Senator Mitchell are nearly complete.
The various legal and ethical issues involved in this matter are exceedingly complex, and we aren’t a hand-picked mouthpiece for the parties haven’t been blessed with contacts with first-hand knowledge of the negotiations. To provide some insight into the negotiations I’ve turned to the best tool available for these situations, sketch comedy. So, with apologies to the boys at Monty Python…
[The press room, Yankee Stadium. Jason Giambi sits at the podium, once again asked to clarify his previous comments on his use of “that stuff.”]
GIAMBI: …so all I’m saying now is what I said then. All of us — players, ownership, everybody — should have stood up a long time ago and said “We made a mistake.”
REPORTER #1: Jason, why did you use steroids in the first place?
GIAMBI: Maybe one day I’ll be ready to talk about that, but not now.
REPORTER #2: Will you at least tell us which steroids you used?
GIAMBI: I’ve said all I have to say. Geez, guys, I just wanted to get something off my chest. I wasn’t expecting this to turn into some kind of baseball inquisition…
[Dramatic music. Bud Selig, George Mitchell and Bob DuPuy burst into the press room, wearing red ecclesiastical robes.]
SELIG: NOBODY expects the Baseball Inquisition! Our chief weapon is surprise, and press releases. [Pauses, confused.] Er, our two chief weapons are: one, surprise; two, press releases; and cynical manipulation of public opinion. [Looks flustered.] OK, amongst our chief weapons are surprise, press releases, cynical manipulation of public opinion…and an almost fanatical devotion to the almighty dollar. [Looks really flustered now, tries to start again…]
GIAMBI: [Interrupting] Okay, I think I get it. What do you dudes want?
SELIG: What do we want? Well, obviously, we want you to confess your heresy against baseball, to Cardinal Mitchell here!
[Mitchell dramatically unrolls a scroll and pulls out a quill, posing impressively as if ready to take down every word that Giambi has to say.]
GIAMBI: So, are you like, ready to offer me immunity, like those federal dudes did?
SELIG: Immunity? Ha! HA! [Looks at DuPuy and Mitchell, who finally take the hint and join him in Diabolical Laughter.] Why would you need immunity? After all we’re [pauses a second to pull press release out of his robes.] going “to create an environment so players can feel free to honestly and completely cooperate with this important investigation.”
GIAMBI: Without immunity, what’s to stop some gloryhound prosecutor in Podunk County from bringing criminal charges against me, based on what I tell you, and lockin’ me up? You want me to talk, you gotta get me some immunity, or maybe a presidential pardon or something. I mean, you guys are still tight with the president, right? Oh, and you also gotta assure me that the Yankees won’t be allowed to tear up my contract, ’cause that would really…
SELIG: How dare you raise such mundane concerns to this Inquisition? Your confessing to Cardinal Mitchell is in the Best Interests of Baseball(tm)! Confess, or I shall be forced to discipline you!
[Mitchell resumes his about-to-scribble-on-scroll pose, nodding approvingly.]
GIAMBI: I hear you, but lockup’s a bitch, bro. Anyways, I thought you couldn’t discipline me for refusing to talk. Something about the fifth amendment, and Fergie Jenkins back in ‘80.
SELIG: Are you hiding behind your “constitutional rights”? Confess the heinous sin of heresy, and reject the works of the player’s union, or else!
GIAMBI: Dude, have you been listening to me? Even if you could suspend me, I’m on the DL, and Will Carroll says that my foot might not even be better within 50 games. So what’s the difference? Heck, I can even do a rehab stint during one of your suspensions, like Guillermo Mota did. I don’t understand what you’re trying to accomplish, here.
SELIG: Then we’ll make you understand! Cardinal DuPuy, fetch…the comfy chair!
GIAMBI: Comfy chair?
[DuPuy rolls a plush, floral-patterned chair into the room. Despite all the naysayers who claim that the Mitchell Commission is just a public relations stunt, it’s obvious that they’re deadly serious. Why, if Giambi were to continue to resist talking to Mitchell after his trials in the comfy chair, he could well be subjected to the pillows, or the rack. That’s when you instruct your agent to negotiate terms.]