NEW YORK -- The baseball commissioner's office intends to investigate reported remarks by Yankees slugger Jason Giambi that the sport should apologize for use of performance-enhancing drugs and the Yankees star's comment that he was "wrong for doing that stuff."
New York Yankees
Rob Manfred, executive vice president for labor relations in the commissioner's office, spoke Friday with Yankees president Randy Levine about the matter, a baseball official with knowledge of the conversation said, speaking on condition of anonymity because baseball officials didn't want the matter publicly discussed.
"I was wrong for doing that stuff," Giambi was quoted as saying in Friday's editions of USA Today. "What we should have done a long time ago was stand up -- players, ownership, everybody -- and said: 'We made a mistake.'
"We should have apologized back then and made sure we had a rule in place and gone forward. ... Steroids and all of that was a part of history. But it was a topic that everybody wanted to avoid. Nobody wanted to talk about it," he said.
Giambi told a grand jury during the BALCO investigation in December 2003 that he used steroids and human growth hormone, the San Francisco Chronicle reported in December 2004. Before the start of spring training in 2005, Giambi made repeated general apologies at a news conference but wouldn't discuss whether he used steroids or admitted to the grand jury in 2003 that he did.
"The commissioner's office, I think, is going to be looking into this, and so at this point I just can't comment," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said before Friday's game against the Mets. "Let the commissioner go through the process he needs to go through, and we'll go from there."
Giambi refused to talk about the USA Today story on Friday.
Cashman was troubled by the notion that fans are owed an apology by Major League Baseball.
"There's an implication that there was a lot of people that were involved that would know that, what was going on, and I can tell you that's false," Cashman said. "We've spoken to that in the past, so I do have a problem with that, without a doubt, because I can tell you -- I can speak from being right there, too -- that whatever goes on individually with these guys is really on them."
Giambi, whom USA Today said was interviewed on Wednesday, was quoted by the paper as saying he's thankful for baseball's testing program for steroids and amphetamines that was revised before the 2006 season. MLB does not test for human growth hormone and Giambi said he does not use the drug.
"Unfortunately, [the rumors] are going to be a part of it. But that's OK. I'm probably tested more than anybody else. I'm not hiding anything," he was quoted as saying. "That stuff didn't help me hit home runs. I don't care what people say, nothing is going to give you that gift of hitting a baseball."