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Jay Gibbons

Jay Gibbons in 2007
Los Angeles Dodgers — No. --
Outfielder / First baseman
Born: March 2, 1977 (1977-03-02) (age 33)
Rochester, Michigan
Bats: Left Throws: Left 
MLB debut
April 6, 2001 for the Baltimore Orioles
Career statistics
(through 2009 season)
Batting average     .260
Home runs     121
Runs batted in     405
Teams

Jay Jonathan Gibbons (born March 2, 1977 in Rochester, Michigan) is a Major League Baseball outfielder for the Los Angeles Dodgers organization. Gibbons was a graduate of Mayfair High School in Lakewood, California. He played college ball at California State University, Los Angeles.

Contents

Professional career

Minor leagues

Gibbons was selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 15th round of the 1998 amateur draft and that season captured the Pioneer League Triple Crown with the Medicine Hat Blue Jays, hitting .397 with 19 home runs and 98 RBI. After the 2000 season, he was picked up by the Baltimore Orioles in the Rule 5 draft.

Baltimore Orioles

As a rookie for the Orioles in 2001, he hit 15 home runs before a hand injury cut short his season. The next year, he hit a career-best 28 homers. In 2003, Gibbons had another excellent season. Playing in a career-high 160 games, he established personal bests in batting average and RBI and was voted Team MVP.

In 2004, Gibbons suffered multiple injuries and only played in 97 games. Because of his hobbling injuries, his numbers plummeted: his batting average was a mere .246, and he hit only 10 homers. After the 2004 season, he had LASIK eye surgery to improve his declining eyesight, which went from 20-10 to 20-35 in only a few months. He bounced back with a solid 2005 season as he hit .277 with 26 home runs and 79 RBI in 139 games.

He wore #25 until Rafael Palmeiro signed a contract with the Orioles in 2004. Out of respect for the older and more established Palmeiro, Jay switched to #31, which he wore for the rest of his time with the Orioles, even after Palmeiro left the Orioles.

Steroid allegations

On September 30, 2006, the Los Angeles Times reported that former relief pitcher Jason Grimsley, during a June 6, 2006, federal raid, told federal agents investigating steroids in baseball that Gibbons was a user of "anabolic steroids." The Times reported that Gibbons was one of five names blacked out in an affidavit filed in federal court.[1] However, on October 3, 2006, the Washington Post reported that San Francisco United States attorney Kevin Ryan said that the Los Angeles Times report contained "significant inaccuracies."[2] Gibbons, along with the other four players named, denounced the story. [2] However, on September 9, 2007, Sports Illustrated reported that a source close to an Orlando-based compound pharmacy alleged that Gibbons had received multiple shipments of performance-enhancing steroids and human growth hormone (HGH) between October 2003 to July 2005. [3]He was suspended for the first 15 games of the 2008 season on December 6, 2007.

On December 13, 2007, he was cited in the Mitchell Report to the Commissioner of Baseball of an Independent Investigation Into the Illegal Use of Steroids and Other Performance Enhancing Substances by Players in Major League Baseball[4].

He was not suspended by Major League Baseball, but he performed so poorly in 2008 spring training that the Orioles cut him even though he was owed nearly $12 million for the last two years of his contract. The Orioles management claimed that the release was a "baseball decision" unrelated to the steroid allegations.[5]

2008 season

On June 12, 2008, Gibbons wrote an emotional letter to all 30 MLB clubs, asking to return to baseball, promising to donate his salary to charity.[6] The only team that gave him a chance was the independent Long Island Ducks of the Atlantic League, a team unaffiliated with MLB. He played in 27 games for the Ducks, hitting .280 with 5 home runs in 107 at-bats.

On July 22, 2008, Gibbons signed a minor league contract with the Milwaukee Brewers[7] and was assigned to the Double-A Huntsville Stars. Gibbons spent approximately one week at Double-A Huntsville before being promoted to Triple-A Nashville on July 27. He became a free agent after the season.

Florida Marlins

On January 12, 2009, Gibbons signed a minor league contract with an invite to spring training with the Florida Marlins.[8] He was released by the Marlins on March 13, 2009; the Marlins stated that they did not have room on the roster for him.[9]

Newark Bears

On May 11, 2009, Gibbons agreed to play for the Newark Bears of the Atlantic League.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Gibbons signed a minor league contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers prior to the 2010 season.

References

  1. ^ Pugmire, Lance (2006-10-01). "Clemens Is Named in Drug Affidavit". Los Angeles Times. http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-clemens1oct01,0,6499528.story?coll=la-home-headlines. Retrieved 2006-10-01. 
  2. ^ a b "U.S. Attorney Says Report Alleging Drug Use Contains 'Inaccuracies'". Washington Post: p. E02. 2006-10-03. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/02/AR2006100201054.html. Retrieved 2006-10-04. 
  3. ^ Llosa, Luis Fernando; L. Jon Wertheim (2007-09-09). "Gibbons received banned drugs". SI.com. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/baseball/mlb/09/09/drugs.probe/index.html. Retrieved 2007-09-10. 
  4. ^ Mitchell, George (2007-12-13). "Mitchell Report on Steroid Use in Baseball" (PDF). http://files.mlb.com/mitchrpt.pdf. Retrieved 2007-12-13. 
  5. ^ http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/spring2008/news/story?id=3320730
  6. ^ "Jay Gibbons is making a plea to return to the game." MLB.com. 12 June 2008. 27 July 2008.
  7. ^ ESPN.Com
  8. ^ Jeff Zrebiec (2009-01-12). "Marlins sign Gibbons to minor league deal". baltimoresun.com. http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/baseball/bal-gibbons112,0,172521.story. Retrieved 2009-01-12. 
  9. ^ Marlins Release OF Gibbons Yahoo Sports, March 13, 2009

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