JUPITER, Fla. -- He took a performance-enhancing substance, got caught by Major League Baseball and acknowledged making a mistake. And when Jay Gibbons reported this week to Florida Marlins training camp, he caused hardly a stir.
"I really feel like I have nothing to lose," the veteran outfielder said, "because people don't expect much."
A-Rod he's not. But Gibbons hit 121 home runs in seven seasons with the Baltimore Orioles before he was named in the Mitchell Report in December 2007. He admitted using human growth hormone and hasn't played in a major-league game since.
At 31, he's trying to revive his career with the Marlins, who signed him to a minor-league contract.
"I made a mistake," Gibbons said. "It's something I can't take back. It happened a long time ago. I've moved on from it. I'm ready to hopefully jump-start my career here."
Jeff Conine joined the Marlins in December as a special assistant to the team president and encouraged them to sign Gibbons. Conine and Gibbons were teammates in Baltimore for four seasons.
"You get a guy who's great in the clubhouse and has good power," Conine said. "Really there's no downside to it.
"The Mitchell Report thing is something he did a long time ago. You've got other big names who said they did it, and nobody talks about them anymore. Move on and let him play. He could really help our team."
Gibbons said he's saddened by the recent revelation Alex Rodriguez took steroids, and by the steroids-related conviction of his former Orioles teammate, Miguel Tejada.
"I know Miggy very well," Gibbons said. "He's a great teammate, a great person. I feel sad for him to have to go through what he's going through."
As for Rodriguez: "I feel for him a little bit. I wish him the best. He's going to go out and hit 40 homers this year."
Gibbons declined to blame baseball's drug culture for his misstep. He said he took HGH to help recover from a nagging wrist injury, and the decision was entirely his own.
"I took it upon myself to go to a doctor," Gibbons said. "I was feeling injuries. I've had that my whole career. That was the reason for it. I was looking to get back on the field.