That he used steroids, Jason Giambi. Last Friday in a USA Today interview the Yankees DH fessed up to one of baseball's worst-kept secrets; reports that Giambi admitted using steroids to the BALCO grand jury began appearing shortly after he testified in 2003. "I was wrong for doing that stuff," Giambi said. While not startling, Giambi's confession could have repercussions. The commissioner's office said it will investigate his remarks, and the Yankees could conceivably look into voiding the remainder of his contract. Giambi, who is hitting .268 with five homers, is signed through 2008, when he is due to make $21 million.
From the Louis Vuitton Cup, BMW Oracle, the lone American team. Oracle lost its best-of-nine semifinal to Italy's Luna Rossa (below) on Sunday. The winner of the Vuitton Cup, which ends on June 11, will face Switzerland's Alinghi, the reigning champion, in the America's Cup final beginning on June 23. (New Zealand led Spain 4--2 in the other Vuitton semifinal heading into their race on Tuesday.) Oracle's loss means that there will be no American entry in the America's Cup final for the third straight time. "It certainly wasn't the outcome we planned for or expected," said Oracle team owner Larry Ellison. "Luna Rossa raised their game and deserve a lot of credit."
At 81 matches, Rafael Nadal's record winning streak on clay, with his loss to Roger Federer in the Hamburg Masters final on Sunday. The victory also ended a streak for Federer, who had been struggling—by his standards—in recent weeks. The Swiss had gone four tournaments without a title, his longest championship drought since he became the world's No. 1 player in February 2004. It was also Federer's first win on clay against Nadal in six tries and a potential confidence booster heading into next week's French Open, the only Grand Slam event Federer (above) has never won. Said Nadal, whose last loss on clay was in April '05, "If I have to lose against anyone, then he is the man."
Unanimously by major league owners, the sale of the Braves by Time Warner Inc. to Liberty Media Corp. Time Warner (the parent company of SI), which had owned the team since 1996, and Liberty agreed to the $450 million deal in February, and it became official last week. Liberty said it would make one major change in the Braves' hierarchy: Hank Aaron, a member of the team's board of directors, will play a larger role in the front office. Last Friday, Aaron said one of his duties will be trying to increase interest in baseball among African-American youth.
May 27, 2007
By Marcus Camby, an invitation to participate in USA Basketball's pre-Olympic camp in Las Vegas this summer. Managing director Jerry Colangelo has plenty of offensive firepower—including LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Glibert Arenas—and hoped that Camby, the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year, would bolster his D. But Camby, who led the league with 3.3 blocks per game this season, is skipping the camp because of an unspecified family matter. (The 2008 Olympic team will be chosen from players who attend this year's camp.) "He would love to have played for Team USA," said Camby's agent, Rick Kaplan. "It was a gut-wrenching decision but the one he had to make."
Of head injuries suffered in a car accident on May 12, Winthrop guard DeAndre Adams. The 20-year-old, who played in all 35 games last season and helped the Eagles score the school's first NCAA tournament victory in March, was returning to his Austell, Ga., home from a late-night summer-league game in Atlanta when he swerved to avoid a tree that had fallen across the road; Adams's car flipped and hit another tree. Doctors immediately put him in an induced coma in an attempt to reduce brain swelling, but he died four days later. Said Winthrop coach Randy Peele, "My life and our program has been blessed to have been part of DeAndre's life."
At age 80, pioneering sportswriter George Kiseda. Kiseda wrote for the Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph, Philadelphia Daily News and Philadelphia Bulletin in the 1950s and '60s and worked as a copy editor for the Los Angeles Times before retiring in 1984. Nicknamed the Silver Quill, Kiseda was witty and uncompromising (The Boston Globe's Bob Ryan called him the best NBA writer ever) and an early crusader for civil rights in sports. In 1957 he wrote a column criticizing the scheduling of an Army-Tulane football game for the Sugar Bowl, where the stands were segregated; after the piece was read on the floor of the House of Representatives, the game was moved to West Point. "George was the most idealistic of all sports writers," says SI senior contributing writer Frank Deford, "and his example influenced many of us who came after him."
Of breast cancer at age 65, skier Jean Saubert, who won two medals for the U.S. at the 1964 Olympics. Saubert (left) shared a silver in the giant slalom and took the bronze in the slalom. The U.S. won only four other medals at the Innsbruck Games. Saubert, who was elected to the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame in 1976, was a teacher after her skiing career ended. "I wish that pro athletes would see they've been given this God-given gift—then come back into the world and become one of us," she said in 2002.
Little Al Returns
BACK IN 1936, Indianapolis 500 winner Louis Meyer was photographed chugging buttermilk, and ever since then milk—not champagne, not beer—has been the drink of choice for Brickyard winners. That suits Al Unser Jr. just fine. Last Saturday the two-time champ qualified for his 19th Indy 500, just four months after his career, not to mention his life, was on the verge of being derailed by alcoholism.
On Jan. 25 Unser, 45, was arrested for DUI outside Las Vegas. He now says he's been an alcoholic for "a long time," but until he was hauled off to jail he never saw the need to get clean. "That was the final straw for me," Unser says. "If I had recognized that I had a disease earlier and had sought treatment earlier, I would have been a better person and a better driver." To help others avoid his mistakes, Unser is working as an ambassador for Live Outside the Bottle, an organization that encourages alcoholics to seek help. That means he spends a lot of time talking about his past mistakes, of which he readily admits there have been many. In 2002 he was arrested for hitting his then girlfriend, Gina, who is now his wife. (No charges were filed.) And then there was the January bust, which Unser—who retired in '04 but raced at the Brickyard in '06—was convinced would ruin any chance he had of racing at Indy this year. (Unser pleaded not guilty; his trial is scheduled for July.)
Then in February, to his surprise, he got a call from A.J. Foyt. If any owner is willing to hand out second chances, it's Foyt, an old schooler who's gotten into his fair share of scrapes. (Once, at age 62, he punched another driver on Victory Lane.) "I don't pay attention to that," Foyt says. "I saw he was open, and there was no one better to drive my car. It's a big honor to have him in the car."
It didn't take long for Unser, who says he hasn't had a drink since his arrest, to accept Foyt's offer. Being at the track, where his time is filled and the prize he's eyeing is a big jug of milk, has made staying clean a bit easier. "For me," says Unser, "the best therapy is driving a car 220 miles an hour and racing in the Indianapolis 500."
They Said It
Shaquille O'Neal, on a column written by Sam Smith of the Chicago Tribune that suggested it is time for him to part ways with the Heat:
"Sam is an idiot. I-D-O-U-T, idiot."
28 Hits by the Class A Lake Elsinore Storm in a 30--0 California League victory over the Lancaster JetHawks last Friday.
17 Times that Apa, a 46-year-old Nepalese Sherpa, has scaled Mount Everest, three more than any other climber.
$101,410 Winning bid in an auction for a Yankees home jersey worn by Mickey Mantle in 1960, one of several baseball items auctioned by Lelands in Seaford, N.Y., last Saturday.
$60,000 Mantle's salary in 1960.
90 Minutes it took for the first 40,000 tickets available for the Oct. 28 Dolphins-Giants game in London to sell out last week; another 50,000 tickets will be released over the next few weeks.
$160 million Amount that Warriors owner Chris Cohan owes in back taxes and penalties, according to the IRS; the government says Cohan failed to pay enough tax after selling his cable company for $200 million in 1998.
SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE
Undefeated super middleweight Laila Ali must undergo knee surgery because of the wear and tear of performing on Dancing With the Stars.