Toronto Blue Jays closer Ken Giles recently informed the media in Dunedin that he would oblige and surrender his 2017 World Series ring if the league requested it.
According to Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star, Ken Giles flatly denied any knowledge of the cheating scandal informing her that he was blindsided when he heard the accusations. Giles was a member of the Houston Astros from 2016 through to the summer of 2018 when he was traded to the Blue Jays in exchange for Roberto Osuna.
"“I was not aware about anything, It crushed me to learn about the stuff that went on when I was there. I had no idea. I had no clue whatsoever. I was blindsided by the commissioner’s report. Up until then, I honestly didn’t believe it. Just crazy.”"
Throughout the interview, Giles spoke about feeling trapped in Houston and dealing with his own issues during his tenure with the Astros. The 29-year old saved 34 regular-season games as well as two postseason games during the Astros 2017 campaign. The closer received a World Series ring for his efforts but offered to do whatever needs to be done including giving the tainted ring back.
"“Whatever they ask, I would oblige. Because what was going on at the time was not OK. It just hurts. If they want it back, I’ll be true to whatever needs to be done. The damage is already done.”"
"“There’s nothing you can do about it. They have to move past it. They’re going to feel like the bad guys all year. I know what it feels like to be the bad guy. And it’s not the greatest feeling. But actions speak louder than words. I just hope they play honestly.”"
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It is a little more believable that a reliever may have not been privy to the cheating scandal. Giles would at some point in each contest make his way from the clubhouse to the bullpen where he would remain until being summoned in the ninth inning. The closer makes no bones that he did not particularly enjoy his time in Houston so who knows how tight he even was with his teammates especially the position players.
Giles will once again be relied upon heavily to close out ball games for Toronto this season. In 2019, the closer was nearly unhittable putting up an impressive 1.87 earned run average while fanning 83 and compiling 23 saves in 53 innings of work.
This will be his final season before hitting the free-agent market at the conclusion of the 2020 campaign. Giles will earn 9.6 million at the backend of the Blue Jays bullpen, it will be interesting to see if the brain trust attempts to keep him in the fold beyond this season or if Giles will once again be the subject of trade rumours.
Giles may have already been moved at the deadline last year had it not been for a nagging arm ailment that prevented the Blue Jays from obtaining the premium return they were seeking.
Hard-throwing, effective closers are in high-demand, however, the upstart Blue Jays will need Giles throwing bullets for them if the team overachieves like many are predicting.
It was nice to see Giles speak about the 2017 scandal so it is not a lingering distraction once the team breaks camp and heads north.