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A Sorry Situation

By Sally Jenkins
Saturday, February 12, 2005; Page D01

I'm sorry. I would like to apologize. For what, that I can't say. Sorry. I know I've disappointed my family and my friends, who must remain nameless, with my actions, which for legal and self-promotional reasons are better left vague and unspecified. For that I am sorry. Sorrily, very sorry.

My lawyer, agent and publicist as well as my accountant have all counseled me that I should be sorry, so I am, very, and though I am honestly not apologetic, I have come straightforwardly before you today to say that I'm sorry. There is, as you know, an ongoing investigation. For that I'm very, very sorry. Don't ask why. My chief counsel feels that I am not at liberty to say, given everything that is going on. But the answers are there, if you look for them, in the blanks.

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The Yankees changed language in Jason Giambi's contract to remove the word "steroid" when he signed in 2001.
Sally Jenkins: It's a very sorry situation.
Giambi apologized to teammates and friends but didn't say what he was sorry for.
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Nevertheless, I am here to face this thing head on. I've always felt that I am a stand-up person, and that's why I'm sitting here before you today. I know I have much to regret. How much, I can't really say. But we all know how much water has gone over the dam, and that things have happened, absolutely, and so I am sorry. But I think all that is behind us.

Look: I'm sorry this thing is tied up in the courts. I'm sorry my counsel has advised me not to talk about the various matters for which I am apologizing -- if, in fact, I did them at all, which I'm not saying I did: sorry.

How sorry am I? I wish I could visit the home of every single person I let down and say it to them directly: I'm really, really sorry. But I just can't do that. To have the stamina it would take to visit all those homes I would have to use performance-enhancing drugs.

Which, if I did it, would make me very, very sorry.

I think I'm a good person. And rightfully so. Sure I'm not perfect -- nobody is -- but you'd like to think you are the kind of player who, when you do something wrong, says, 'I'm sorry.' I think the people who are closest to me, who truly know me, know what kind of person I am. And please, all I ask is that you leave my friends, my family, out of this. They've been through enough.

Furthermore, I would like to say I'm sorry to my teammates, who have stood by me, even when they didn't know exactly who I was. At this point, I can't confirm positively that, as it's legally inadvisable. Still, I think they all know my track record, if they look hard enough for it. I'm very sorry. I know that I have been a distraction to them, especially the ones who have been bad-mouthing me behind my back. It's not easy to have to come out here and apologize, as I imagine some of them are going to discover.

I know my conduct has also cost me the goodwill of my fans. I have a long road back, and may never regain my standing or product placement. For that, I truly am sorry.

I would also like to apologize to my employer, who brought me into this great organization, and paid me so well, and has given me invaluable advice and so many useful euphemisms. They've shown their unwavering trust in me by certain omissions and sub-protections in my contract. By way of proof of that I'd like to read you this guaranteed clause.

Section III, clause 4 (b) 2:

"Player GIAMBI, JASON further warrants that he no longer does that bad thing we all know he used to do, and further assures that he will not do said thing ever again and if he does this contract will be null and void, releasing the NEW YORK YANKEES MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL CLUB INC. from any and all aforesaid obligations, on account of how he knows he shouldn't do that thing that we're talking about in this section."

But I'm not a quitter. And there's no rephrasing that. I'm just going to work my butt off and go on about my business, because I'm a player with certain work habits, as has been documented in federal proceedings, the transcripts of which are sealed and which I've been cautioned against commenting on.

Mainly, I would like to say 'I'm sorry' because my advisors have instructed me that it can be a versatile and useful public statement, one that has bailed out small children and certain former presidents of the United States.


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