• The Return Of The Giambino

    Posted by on June 24th, 2011 · Comments (17)

    Via the Denver Post -

    He’s 40, with a stubble more salt than pepper, but don’t kid yourself. Jason Giambi still gets excited, still feels like a rookie, still can’t wait to get to the ballpark.

    Especially one ballpark.

    That would be Yankee Stadium. No, it’s not the same Yankee Stadium he played in from 2002-08, but, with the Bronx Bombers, it was never about steel and concrete. It was about Ruth and Gehrig, and Mantle and Maris.

    “It’s Yankee Stadium,” Giambi said. “I don’t think it will ever lose its mystique or magic. From players to the ownership to everything, it’s always going to be special there.”

    So it is that, when the Rockies arrive in the Bronx tonight for a three-game interleague series, Giambi’s adrenaline, like Ruth back in the day at Wrigley Field, will be calling the shots.

    The list of players who have thrived in Yankee pinstripes is lengthy, as is the list of those, most notably Greg Maddux , who wanted no part of the place once dubbed the Bronx Zoo. The Giambino? Cheers or boos, he couldn’t get enough of the place.

    “It’s what you dream about as a kid,” Giambi said. “If you really, absolutely love this game, and you get a chance to put the pinstripes on, there’s nothing better on this planet. You have to come with it every day. It’s a tough town, but at the same time, to play on the same field as Mantle and Maris and DiMaggio and Ruth and Gehrig . . . to know those guys wore the same uniform, it’s pretty special.”

    Giambi hit 209 of his 422 career home runs in New York. So what kind of reception is he expecting from the fans? He got a standing ovation in 2009 when he played in the new Yankee Stadium during his semi-season with the Oakland A’s, but he doesn’t know what to expect this time around.

    But he’s certain of one thing: If he hurts the Yankees, the boo birds will chime in.

    “Oh, yeah,” he said. “It’s all right. They want to win and I love that about them, definitely.”

    I’ll say this about Giambi – he must really love the game. And, good for him on that! Could you see A-Rod or Teixeira hanging on in their 40′s as a part-timer with the Rockies? I doubt that will happen. Jason has enough money to retire. But, he’s going to make them rip the uniform off him…even if it means being a bench player. That’s old school. Nice.

    Comments on The Return Of The Giambino

    1. Raf
      June 24th, 2011 | 9:57 am

      At least he’s still productive.

    2. Greg H.
      June 24th, 2011 | 10:53 am

      “Could you see A-Rod or Teixeira hanging on in their 40′s as a part-timer with the Rockies? I doubt that will happen.”

      It won’t happen – A-Rod in his 40′a will be hanging out as a part timer with the Yankees, and getting paid a lot more than the Giambino makes with the Rocks.

    3. LMJ229
      June 24th, 2011 | 5:10 pm

      I always liked Giambi even though he was an obvious PED user. At least he came clean and didn’t continue to lie about it like Clemens and Bonds.

    4. redbug
      June 24th, 2011 | 6:08 pm

      @ LMJ229: “…didn’t continue to lie about it like Clemens and Bonds.”

      Add Arod to that list as he lied till he got caught.

      I agree w/ your sentiment though. Giambi came clean. And he clearly loved the Yanks. Still does. “you get a chance to put the pinstripes on, there’s nothing better on this planet”. I wonder what a Rockies fan thinks when (s)he reads that?

    5. JeremyM
      June 24th, 2011 | 6:49 pm

      By “pinstripes”, he clearly was referring to the Rockies uniforms :)

      It does seem like guys used to hang around more back in the day to pinch-hit or whatever. The Yanks had guys like Enos Slaughter or Johnny Mize that were one-time stars willing to come off the bench- for example. Not that Giambi is in that category, but it’s along the same lines I think.

    6. throwstrikes
      June 25th, 2011 | 9:38 am

      Wow. Selective memory. Giambi denied steroid use prior to his Grand Jury testimony. Didn’t admit to it after his Grand Jury testimony and when that testimony leaked he apologized for something but didn’t say what.

      Giambi is a coward. He took cover behind other players so he never had to take things on his own shoulders- both with the steroid issue and his ability oin the field to carry a team.

    7. June 25th, 2011 | 11:06 am

      throwstrikes wrote:

      Wow. Selective memory. Giambi denied steroid use prior to his Grand Jury testimony. Didn’t admit to it after his Grand Jury testimony and when that testimony leaked he apologized for something but didn’t say what.
      Giambi is a coward. He took cover behind other players so he never had to take things on his own shoulders- both with the steroid issue and his ability oin the field to carry a team.

      Exactly, throwstrikes. I’m also wondering if Pettitte should be on that “list” created a few comments up for he changed his story between his press conference and his affidavit two months later. Either he used it twice on separate occasions or he used it twice in one. Funny how that wasn’t nitpicked at like some other steroid confessions…

    8. Garcia
      June 25th, 2011 | 12:02 pm

      Throwstrikes/Brent – “Selective memory” – so what? He took steroids, denied it at first but eventually fessed up. Oh wow, what a “pariah”!!!! Why judge and condemn someone based on their transgressions, he’s definitely doing fine now and is past that. But you can throw that first stone all you want. I’m sure your life has been full of perfection and you’ve never done anything wrong.

      Caring and judging a baseball player on used PEDs is about as stupid as judging a politician on a broken promise.

      I know quite a few of our NY civil servants who work the Yankee beat, their definition of Giambi is “total class”. A down to earth guy, respectful and fun loving. In the end, that’s how he’ll be judged – how he treats others, not what needles stuck in his body or drugs he may have done.

      When you walk on water can you please call me?

    9. June 25th, 2011 | 5:31 pm

      @ Garcia:

      My response was only in response to redbug’s throwing A-Rod under the same bus as Clemens and Bonds, despite admitting, while using throwstrikes’ comment to support that. I’m sorry if that wasn’t clear.

      Aside from A-Rod having a jerkish personality (according to many in the media), I don’t understand how Pettitte and Giambi got more of a free ride in regards to PEDs than A-Rod, despite A-Rod spilling more information than either of them. If you asked me, yes, if I had a vote, I’d vote in Bonds, Clemens, and A-Rod while taking a look at McGwire and Palmerio as well.

      Relax, man, no need to get all snippy and hot under the collar over this. I have NO problem with Giambi, Pettitte, or A-Rod steroid use. Do you? Unfortunately though, a good number of fans and media people DO care and judge a baseball player using PEDs and many discredit those players’ statistics regardless.

      If you have a problem with that, don’t take it up on me, take it up on them, with redbug and the others. I wonder if your comment was just venting from other conversations you’ve had or blog posts you’ve read that do what you wrote I did. Happens to me too in my A-Rod defensive points.

    10. June 25th, 2011 | 5:41 pm

      @ Garcia:

      I also would give Pettitte a HofF look, but to me, Mussina was overall a better pitcher and frankly, IMHO, should be a Hall of Famer (Bert Blyleven style).

    11. throwstrikes
      June 25th, 2011 | 8:04 pm

      I don’t care about PEDS. You do what you need to do to stay on the field is my opinion but saying Giambi was any different than anyone else in his acknowledgement is just not true and that’t what I was reacting to.

      I think he’s a jerk who used PEDs not a jerk because he used PEDs.

    12. LMJ229
      June 25th, 2011 | 9:19 pm

      This whole steroid thing is a joke anyway. How many guys have been “outed” when the results were supposed to be confidential? PEDs were RAMPANT in baseball before the testing. 50% is probably a low estimate and EVERYONE knew what was going on but they all kept quiet about it because baseball was booming – players, owners, managers, GMs, trainers, the commissioner – EVERYONE. So why is it that most of the guys who were “outed” were Yankees?

    13. June 25th, 2011 | 9:40 pm

      The best thing about having Giambi on the Yankees was how good it felt when he finally left.

    14. redbug
      June 26th, 2011 | 6:33 am

      I don’t give PED users a pass. They cheated the game and their fellow players who didn’t use them. I don’t think McGuire, Sosa, Bonds, etal belong in the record books. I think Arod’s and Clemons #’s are tainted because I have no idea how long they really were using them. I give Pettitte a pass because I believe him when he said he used PED’s for a brief period to help an injury heal faster.

    15. Raf
      June 26th, 2011 | 10:44 am

      @ redbug:
      Read Jim Bouton’s “Ball Four” or Bill Lee’s “The Wrong Stuff.” PED use predates McGwire, Bonds, Sosa, etc.

    16. June 26th, 2011 | 11:05 am

      redbug wrote:

      I think Arod’s and Clemons #’s are tainted because I have no idea how long they really were using them. I give Pettitte a pass because I believe him when he said he used PED’s for a brief period to help an injury heal faster.

      Stupid question but… why do you believe Pettitte? I mean, it may be a slip of information, but Pettitte did change his story slightly within the two months of his confession. Pettitte first said he only did HGH twice in 2002. Two months later, he then said he did an *additional* double dose of HGH from a prescription given to him by his ailing father.

      Who’s to say he didn’t do it again afterwards?

      I’m not saying that I believe he did it again. Heck, some people still think A-Rod is using. I’m just trying to play devil’s advocate here. The dude changed his story in two months and gave the same kind of answer for using as A-Rod (fear of failing to perform). Aside from reputation, in your opinion, why is Pettitte given that pass of “I totally believe him”?

    17. LMJ229
      June 26th, 2011 | 11:40 am

      redbug wrote:

      I don’t give PED users a pass. They cheated the game and their fellow players who didn’t use them. I don’t think McGuire, Sosa, Bonds, etal belong in the record books. I think Arod’s and Clemons #’s are tainted because I have no idea how long they really were using them. I give Pettitte a pass because I believe him when he said he used PED’s for a brief period to help an injury heal faster.

      I tend to agree with you redbug. I can’t stand the idea of Bonds and McGuire holding the records when we all know they cheated to attain them. The only problem is, we don’t know who used and who didn’t – and I believe there were more players that used than didn’t (heck even Andy Petitte cheated!) so is it really fair to single out a handful of guys that were “outed” while many, many more get free passes?

    Leave a reply

    You must be logged in to post a comment.