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March 24, 2006

by SG

The Yankees beat the Astros 8-1 last night.

Alex Rodriguez got his first hit of the spring, a fourth inning homerun. Hideki Matsui also went yard for the third time this spring, and Luis Garcia also hit one. All I know of Garcia are his minor league and Mexican league stats, and that he's 28 and a non-prospect.

Yankee pitching was solid, allowing just four hits and one run over nine innings. Scott Proctor started and went four scoreless. Colter Bean, Mariano Rivera,Mike Myers, Tanyon Sturtze, and Kyle Farnsworth all pitched, with only Sturtze allowing a hit(and the lone run for the 'Stros).

With about 10 days to go, the good news is the relative health of most of the team, with the exceptions of Carl Pavano, Aaron Small, Octavio Dotel, and Jaret Wright. Pavano's throwing BP now, but not expected to be ready until the end of April.

The bad news is the steroid story that just won't go away for Gary Sheffield and Jason Giambi, which has picked up new momentum with the book Game of Shadows coming out.

San Francisco Giants outfielder Barry Bonds isn't the only prominent major leaguer mentioned in a book that chronicles baseball's steroid scandal.

"Game of Shadows" says Yankees outfielder Gary Sheffield had developed a relationship with Bonds' trainer and continued to use him as a source for other performance-enhancers.

The book also details how New York Yankees first baseman Jason Giambi turned to performance-enhancing drugs because he felt pressured to please his perfectionist father. Giambi also made contact with Bonds' trainer to inquire what he was doing to keep Bonds playing at a high level. That's according to the book published by two San Francisco Chronicle reporters who covered the BALCO scandal.

Sheffield said Wednesday that he's not going to defend himself his whole life. Giambi said he hasn't seen the book and has nothing to say.

This won't go away, and it shouldn't. I just think that it's a lot deeper than people linked to Balco and that MLB and Bud Selig are ignoring that just like they ignored the whole steroid issue when it was making them money. All Sheffield and Giambi can do is test clean going forward and deal with the reporters' questions, and they have no one to blame but themselves for being involved in it.