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Giambi escapes without penalty

JASON GIAMBI Selig is satisfied JASON GIAMBI Selig is satisfied

NEW YORK -- With a bright smile stretched across his face, Jason Giambi bounced around the field during batting practice at Yankee Stadium and posed for photos with fans.

The Yankees slugger had plenty to be happy about yesterday.

Giambi escaped punishment from commissioner Bud Selig because of his charitable work and cooperation with baseball's steroids investigator.

"It's over and done with. I'm thrilled with it. He did what he needed to do -- now I can go forward," Giambi said before New York hosted Detroit in the opener of a four-game series. "I can go forward and not hurt the ball club with a suspension."

Selig, speaking on the second and final day of an owners meeting in Toronto, called this an "appropriate decision."

Giambi has acknowledged a "personal history regarding steroids." He agreed to speak with former Senator George Mitchell last month after Selig threatened to discipline him if he refused to cooperate.

"He's doing a lot of public service work, and I think that's terribly important," Selig said. "I think it's more important for us to keep getting the message out. He was, I thought, very frank and candid with Senator Mitchell; at least that was the senator's conclusion. Given everything, this is an appropriate decision."

Giambi said he already was involved with most of the charity work in question "before any of this."

"I felt they were good programs. They were great for kids," he said.

Selig said on June 21, before Giambi met with Mitchell, that he would take "Giambi's level of cooperation into account in determining appropriate further action."

Selig said Mitchell was not expected to speak with any other active players.

"This was a special circumstance," Selig said. "I have no other plans."

No date has been announced for the release of Mitchell's report.

Giambi met with Mitchell in New York July 13, becoming the first active player known to talk with baseball's steroids investigator.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman didn't have much reaction to Selig's decision, saying the commissioner's discretion about the health of the sport was more important than the club's self-interest.

But manager Joe Torre was pleased with the news. "The fact that it's over and done with, it's a little less [Giambi] has to deal with," Torre said. "It's closure. The fact that he can just concentrate on baseball is good for all of us."

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