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Saturday, March 16, 2013

NY Times: Giambi Reinvents Himself, and Baseball Is Intrigued

Half of the major league teams train in Arizona, and Giambi is the oldest player out here. Two pitchers in Florida camps, Mariano Rivera of the Yankees and Darren Oliver of the Toronto Blue Jays, are older. Giambi is the dean of the Cactus League. He turned 42 on Jan. 8 — Elvis Presley’s birthday, naturally.

Giambi hopes to make the Indians’ roster as a pinch-hitter and occasional designated hitter, the kind of bench player his old general manager with the Yankees, Brian Cashman, calls a big, hairy monster. Two years ago, Giambi hit 10 home runs in 99 at-bats against right-handers. He still has pop, probably. He definitely has wisdom.

“He’s not a veteran, he’s the veteran,” Manager Terry Francona said. “I’ve already gone to him three or four times asking him questions. He’s solid. Brings a lot.”

Francona and Giambi have something in common: each interviewed for manager’s jobs after last season. Giambi interviewed twice for the job in Colorado, where he played the last four seasons. The Rockies hired Walt Weiss but offered to make Giambi their hitting coach.

He declined, he said, out of respect for Weiss; if the team started slowly, Giambi did not want to be seen as looming in the background, angling for his job. He also wanted to squeeze one more season from a career that stretches to 1995.

“Whenever he does end up retiring, he’s going to have to stay in the game,” said Troy Tulowitzki, the Rockies’ shortstop. “Going to the field and being around the guys is something he’s going to miss more than the average person.”

bobm Posted: March 16, 2013 at 12:38 PM | 19 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: jason giambi

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   1. donlock Posted: March 16, 2013 at 01:53 PM (#4389469)
By "Baseball is intrigued", does the headline writer mean "not in the least bit interested"? Good.

Scarlett Johansson is intrigued by obscure blogger.
   2. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 16, 2013 at 02:07 PM (#4389481)
He turned 42 on Jan. 8 — Elvis Presley’s birthday, naturally.

Being compared to Elvis Presley at age 42 is not a good thing. Giambi might want a toilet buddy to spot him between now and next January 8.
   3. RMc is Fairly Irrefutable Posted: March 16, 2013 at 02:10 PM (#4389482)
Do you realize Giambi is still short of 2,000 hits, even though he's played since freakin' God was President? (1,968 to be exact, but only 156 in the last four years combined.)

I assume he's not making the Hall, ever, because of the steroids and the fact he's not a slam dunk (the MVP, 429 HR and 47 WAR would normally put him in the conversation, at least)...

Fun fact: Giambi was originally drafted in the 43rd round of the 1989 draft, as was another Yankee star...
   4. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: March 16, 2013 at 02:27 PM (#4389493)
Fun fact: Giambi was originally drafted in the 43rd round of the 1989 draft, as was another Yankee star...
There's a good trivia question: these two teammates, both drafted as shortstops in the 43rd round of the 1989 draft, were starters on the 2002 AL All-Star team
   5. The Kinder, Gentler Ray (RDP) Posted: March 16, 2013 at 02:33 PM (#4389498)
4/23 with a 2B, HR, and 5 BB this spring.

Worth noting that people have kind of left him alone after the steroids issue.

   6. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: March 16, 2013 at 03:26 PM (#4389520)
I would think that it would have been more natural for Giambi to turn 42 on his own birthday.
   7. Tom Nawrocki Posted: March 16, 2013 at 03:38 PM (#4389529)
I'd still rather have him managing the Rockies than Walt Weiss.
   8. Jason Michael(s) Bourn Identity Crisis Posted: March 16, 2013 at 03:51 PM (#4389534)
I assume he's not making the Hall, ever, because of the steroids and the fact he's not a slam dunk (the MVP, 429 HR and 47 WAR would normally put him in the conversation, at least)...

True, but I assume he'll get more votes than Jimmy Wynn did.
   9. The Kinder, Gentler Ray (RDP) Posted: March 16, 2013 at 03:52 PM (#4389535)
BP projects Giambi to .218 with 6 HR and a .270 TAv in 175 PA.
   10. DanG Posted: March 16, 2013 at 05:15 PM (#4389568)
but I assume he'll get more votes than Jimmy Wynn did.
But fewer than Joe Carter.
   11. The Kinder, Gentler Ray (RDP) Posted: March 16, 2013 at 05:53 PM (#4389577)
I still think Giambi makes sense as a platoon 1B for the Yankees. He's played some 1B over the last three years -- not much, but some -- and platooning him will both allow him to focus on hitting RHP and enable him to rest instead of playing every day.
   12. The Kinder, Gentler Ray (RDP) Posted: March 16, 2013 at 06:07 PM (#4389579)
I gather that Mariano Rivera at 43 is now the oldest player in the league.
   13. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: March 16, 2013 at 06:30 PM (#4389587)
Arthur Rhodes apparently worked out with the O's in the off-season, if he signed he'd be older than Mo, though only slightly.

EDIT: Which is to say, yes, Mariano is the oldest.
   14. stanmvp48 Posted: March 16, 2013 at 07:48 PM (#4389617)
"I'd still rather have him managing the Rockies than Walt Weiss."

Off hand I'd rather having him coaching hitting than The Inferno


   15. Howie Menckel Posted: March 16, 2013 at 08:04 PM (#4389619)

Giambi has a total of about 62 G worth of 1B innings on defense in the last 3 years, and now he's even older.

I don't see it.

   16. stanmvp48 Posted: March 17, 2013 at 11:52 AM (#4389850)
And he has to be pinch run for. And he seems to have lost his power. I don't see it either.
   17. The Kinder, Gentler Ray (RDP) Posted: March 17, 2013 at 02:03 PM (#4389933)
What don't you guys see? This is first base.
   18. Greg K Posted: March 17, 2013 at 02:08 PM (#4389937)
What don't you guys see? This is first base.

Tell 'em Wash!
   19. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: March 17, 2013 at 02:57 PM (#4389961)

I gather that Mariano Rivera at 43 is now the oldest player in the league.


Indeed. Giambi is the oldest hitter, though he doesn't have a major-league contract. If he doesn't make it to the Indians roster, that title goes to Henry Blanco.

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