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Friday, April 04, 2008

N.Y. Observer: Megdal: Giambi Tries to Reverse the Irreversible

Giambi: Balletto, si.

Of course, even assuming Giambi finds a comfort zone in the field, his hitting will largely dictate playing time, too. When he was in his prime, he walked more than 100 times four straight seasons, hit at least .314 each year and averaged nearly 39 home runs per year. What part steroids may have played in that performance is impossible to determine. But either way, that Jason Giambi is probably gone for good.

His high in batting average since 2002 is .271, and last year he even saw his power drop precipitously, to just 14 home runs in 254 at bats. His ability to take walks remained, though, and Giambi believes that his stronger legs will improve his offense as well.

“Well, for one thing, I hope my doubles go back up,” said Giambi, who had as many as 47 doubles in his prime, but just eight last year. “A lot of singles last year should be doubles this year. And there should be more first-to-third, more second-to-home.”

Though he’s yet to collect a hit in the season’s first three games, Giambi hit .413 this spring. Giambi believes that if his legs hold up, the hitting will take care of itself.

“I still have the batting eye, the power,” Giambi said. “I’m hoping for a big year.”

Repoz Posted: April 04, 2008 at 07:28 PM | 15 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: yankees

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   1. Sparkles Peterson Posted: April 04, 2008 at 08:01 PM (#2730740)
Jeez, I wonder where people are going to take that headline in this thread...
   2. Cowboy Popup Posted: April 04, 2008 at 08:07 PM (#2730757)
Nice piece Howard, the part about the shoe inserts is exactly the kind of good work you mentioned in the Abraham thread.

He doesn't have a hit yet, but Giambi has looked good at the plate. He's looked excellent (for him) in the field too, his error was as much Mussina's fault as it was his.
   3. HowardMegdal Posted: April 04, 2008 at 08:10 PM (#2730766)
He doesn't have a hit yet, but Giambi has looked good at the plate. He's looked excellent (for him) in the field too, his error was as much Mussina's fault as it was his.

Thanks, CP. The odds are obviously against him- but if he found a way to work out for the first time, maybe it can work for him. I'd be inclined not to wear him down, and look for say, 80-90 games at 1B, with Betemit/Duncan splitting the rest.

So curious to see him there for a month straight, and see if this mobility continues, and what his UZR is like. He really seems like he's moving better than at any point in his career- not many 37-year-olds you can say that about.
   4. Cowboy Popup Posted: April 04, 2008 at 08:16 PM (#2730780)
I'd be inclined not to wear him down, and look for say, 80-90 games at 1B, with Betemit/Duncan splitting the rest.

I think that's exactly right, great shape or not, he's still on the older side for a ballplayer and with those two, Betemit especially, you want to get them some time to see how much they can contribute down the line.
   5. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 04, 2008 at 08:40 PM (#2730847)
in the field too, his error was as much Mussina's fault as it was his.

I fear that this is going to be an all-purpose explanation for much of the Yanks' woes this year.
   6. Champions Table Posted: April 04, 2008 at 09:55 PM (#2730944)
Ishtar was as much Mussina's fault as it was Dustin Hoffman's.
   7. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 05, 2008 at 05:53 AM (#2731464)
"Baseball player declines in his 30s. Story at 11."
   8. ValueArb Posted: April 06, 2008 at 02:17 AM (#2732271)
Translation: "If hGH works as well as I hope it does, I'm in for a big year."


Translation: Kevin is still grasping at the HGH straw even though it's been shown to be useless for performance enhancement.

Kevin thinks "How can Giambi still be hitting HR's at close to his career averages after steroid testing, he must be on some substance because it's obvious he was a steroid built mirage! How can the league still be hitting HRs at near record levels without steroids? It has to be HGH?"
   9. Exploring Leftist Conservatism since 2008 (ark..) Posted: April 06, 2008 at 10:13 AM (#2732408)
Translation: Kevin is still grasping at the HGH straw even though it's been shown to be useless for performance enhancement.


It may help some players, no? I don't think any study has conclusively demonstrated HGH helps no one.
   10. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 06, 2008 at 11:40 AM (#2732413)
My understanding is that there was a meta-study a few years ago that showed no statistically significant effects. As I understand it, it was working from a pretty small base of studies. And either way, they didn't prove a negative, they merely showed a lack of statistically significant evidence for a positive.

That is, of course, real evidence in regard to HGH, but if that's all you're referring to, it's misrepresenting the science to say that HGH has been "shown to be useless".
   11. ValueArb Posted: April 06, 2008 at 03:34 PM (#2732478)
When you throw out the term "statistical significant effects" you are conceding a big problem with Kevin's HGH hysteria. Never heard that you needed statistical significant effects to prove that steroids work, the results from steroid use are so strong they are obvious in many studies.

The results from HGH, if any, are so weak you need to fall back on "statistical significant effects" so you can mealy mouth there might be some tiny effect. A tiny effect can't explain robust post testing home run rates. A tiny effect can't set up Giambi for a "big year".
   12. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 06, 2008 at 03:40 PM (#2732486)
The results from HGH, if any, are so weak you need to fall back on "statistical significant effects" so you can mealy mouth there might be some tiny effect. A tiny effect can't explain robust post testing home run rates. A tiny effect can't set up Giambi for a "big year".
This just isn't the way science works. We cannot extrapolate from the lack of a statistically significant result in one meta-study to the objective size of the benefit to athletes in a particular sport. That the effect is "tiny" has absolutely not been shown, and it is a fallacy to extrapolate that.

It certainly is true that we need to be careful in ascribing effects to HGH that are not proven, and there is nothing in kevin's posting style that approaches to carefulness.

But I think that we need to be appropriately careful likewise in ascribing non-effects to HGH that are similarly unproven. There have been no studies of ballplayers, there have been no (and will be no) double-blinded, controlled studies of the effects on HGH on ballplayers. I haven't looked into the precise set of studies which were evaluated in that one meta-study, and I don't know what they searched for or how homogenous they were, and I don't know what other studies have been done since. If you do know, and your confidence comes from such knowledge, I would love to learn, and I'd be interested to see your citations.
   13. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: April 06, 2008 at 03:46 PM (#2732491)
If Giambi [improves/declines/plateaus/looks at me funny], his current HGH use is obvious.

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