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Tag:Jason Giambi
Posted on: August 7, 2009 1:53 pm
Edited on: August 7, 2009 2:29 pm
 

Athletics release Jason Giambi

A lost season for the Oakland Athletics won't even come with the smallest of feel-good endings: The club released unproductive and oft-injured Jason Giambi on Friday, likely bringing to an end the career of one of the Athletics' most popular players in the late 1990s and early 2000s and one of the centerpieces of baseball's Steroid Era.

Giambi, a five-time American League All-Star and the 2000 AL MVP, was batting .193 with 11 homers and 40 RBI in 83 games this season. He was placed on the disabled list with a strained right quad on July 20. At the time, he had the lowest batting average in the majors among qualifiers and the fourth-lowest slugging percentage in the AL (.364).

"At the end of the day, where we were headed with some young guys and some guys we would like to see the rest of the season, we thought this was an opportune time to do this," Athletics vice-president and general manager Billy Beane said. "Jason struggled, and we thought it was time for us to see our young players."

One of those is Tommy Everidge, who has taken over as Oakland's everyday first baseman after a productive season at Triple-A Sacramento.

"Everyone knows Jason is a great guy," Beane said. "This is not something any of us envisioned. He was upbeat and, as he always does, he thanked us for everything."

Beane said Giambi indicated to him that he intends to continue playing. "I think Jason is one of those guys who will play as long as he possibly can," the GM said. However, given Giambi's lack of productivity, age (38) and nagging injuries, it's hard to see someone rushing to sign him.

There was very little interest in him on the free agent market last winter, and there was no interest in him at the trade deadline last month.

Giambi is a career .282 hitter with 407 homers (tied for 43rd on baseball's all-time list with Duke Snider). He spent eight seasons in Oakland (1995-2001 and 2009) and seven with the Yankees (2002-2008).

"This was difficult because of the person Jason is and his long, successful history here," Beane said. "He's somebody who everybody is very fond of, not just as a player, but as a person.

"These things are never easy."

Category: MLB
Posted on: April 9, 2009 8:39 pm
 

Different Giambi set for Oakland home opener

Biggest difference between the 20-something Jason Giambi who played in Oakland in the 1990s and the 38-year-old graybeard whose encore performance there resumes in earnest with the Athletics' home opener Friday night against Seattle?

Probably the yams.

Yes. Yams.

"No more fast food runs," Athletics third baseman Eric Chavez says. "It's yams now. That's his big thing."

Like Popeye, Giambi yam what he yam in the twilight of his career.

"I've gotta stick around," says Giambi, whose fast-food drive-thru tales were legendary in his early days with the A's. "Those were the good old days. I'd get fast food and burn it off until it was all gone."

Whatever he's doing is working so far. When Giambi steps onto the Oakland Coliseum field for the first time since 2001 wearing the green and gold, he'll bring with him a .417 batting average and a .500 on-base percentage through three games. He's yet to have homered, and he has one RBI.

Booed lustily by the Bay Area fans whenever he'd return after signing as a free agent with the Yankees before the '02 season, the A's are expecting their home fans now to wrap Giambi in a giant, warm, standing-ovation hug during what undoubtedly will be one of baseball's emotional high points of the weekend.

"There's no doubt," says Chavez, one of Giambi's good friends on the team then -- and now.

"It's great," Atlanta pitcher Tim Hudson, recovering from offseason surgery and a former teammate of Giambi's during those glory days in Oakland, said this spring. "I was happy to see him go back. I know the fans and the people in Oakland are really going to enjoy him.

"He's got a lot of years left to play, and hopefully the rest of them will be right there. He was a great teammate there for me. One of the best teammates I've ever had. He was as great a teammate as a superstar could be. He makes everyone feel important.

"He's got a heart of gold, and he's a likable guy. I've never met anybody that doesn't like him."

Hudson chuckled at the memory of Giambi's old penchant for junk food.

"I've never been through a drive-thru with him, but he's brought me some in the past, that's for sure," Hudson said. "In Oakland, he was the kind of guy who came into the clubhouse with a sack of McDonalds and everyone would get what they wanted."

Giambi's new diet is completely fat-free. According to www.nutritiondata.com, one cup of yam cubes (136 grams) contains 158 calories, five grams of dietary fiber, two grams of protein, 27 percent Vitamin C and zero grams of fat.

He's even made dietary converts out of outfielder Matt Holliday, second baseman Mark Ellis and, yes, Chavez.

"Chavy was busting on Mark Ellis the other day, saying, 'Look at those guys -- they're in the trainer's room riding (exercise) bikes and eating yams," infielder Bobby Crosby says. "The next day, Chavy was mowing down some yams.

"Heck, I'll probably be doing it today."

Giambi brings 396 career home runs, 1,280 RBI and way shorter hair back to Oakland for his second tour, not to mention a stricter diet (thank goodness the tattoos haven't gone anywhere).

"Trust me," Giambi says. "I drive by McDonalds all the time and say, 'Oh, man. Those were the good old days.'"

Likes: Kansas City could have swept the White Sox this week, but for Kyle Farnsworth's first relief outing for his new team. ... Not that I wish bad things for the White Sox, because I don't -- I really like the team, manager Ozzie Guillen and the city -- but it's nice to see perennial doormats Kansas City, Cincinnati, Baltimore and even Pittsburgh get off to reasonable starts in the first week. ... Ichiro on his way back to the Seattle lineup soon. ... This GQ article on Lenny Dykstra. Shady, shady, shady. ... Mooning a train? Sounds good to me.

Dislikes: Sad, sad times in Anaheim for the Angels.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"Days turn to minutes
"And minutes to memories
"Life sweeps away the dreams
"That we have planned
"You are young and you are the future
"So suck it up and tough it out
"And be the best you can"

-- John Mellencamp, Minutes to Memories

 

 

Posted on: February 15, 2008 3:22 pm
 

The wolves await Pettitte

VERO BEACH, Fla. -- Whoo hoo, spring training at last! Time to break from the storm of steroid disc--

Ah, not so fast. One thread running from the halls of Congress in Washington, D.C., all the way down south to the Yankees' spring base in Tampa, Fla., having to do with the one player not retired who was deposed earlier this month, is extraordinarily interesting and relevant.

What you've probably heard about Andy Pettitte, that he's caring, sensitive and earnest, is true. Which brings up an important question: How will Pettitte, whom the Yankees have given permission to arrive a few days late to camp, handle things once he arrives?

"That's a hell of a question," said Dodgers manager Joe Torre, who remains close to Pettitte after managing him in the Bronx for seven seasons. "I don't think anybody knows what the answer will be."

Even better questions are these: Will the subject dog Pettitte, 35, so badly that it affects his game? Will it haunt him into a premature retirement? He's already pondered retirement in the past, and talk about a sensational story. Not only did he admit using human growth hormone, but he obtained some of it from his father.

Plus, while he may be a good guy, let's not nominate him for sainthood. The guy may have come to the truth, but he arrived slowly and late. Upon release of the Mitchell Report, Pettitte said he used HGH twice. Now, suddenly, it's more than that.

"I feel for Andy," Torre said. "I've been with him for a long time and I still feel close to him. He always enjoyed the fact that there were others there for the press to talk to instead of him.

"I'm sure he'll be uncomfortable. I know he's a professional and he'll get through it, but it won't be comfortable for him."

Another Dodger who came of age in the Yankees' organization when Pettitte and Clemens were there, pitcher Scott Proctor, remains surprised that Pettitte finds himself in this predicament.

"You never expect something like that," Proctor said. "We all have to deal with temptation, and there are many different ones. The decision he made, he has to live with now."

Lots of people thought that Jason Giambi never would be able to play in New York again after he was caught up in the BALCO web because he cares too much about what people think of him, but GIambi hung in there and made it work.

Pettitte now faces the biggest challenge of his career, and who would have ever figured that perhaps Giambi, of all people, would be in position to offer a piece or two of advice?

Likes: Ryan Dempster predicting the Cubs will break their 100-year drought and win the World Series this year. What's he supposed to say? that he came to spring training thinking about a second-place finish? Or getting to the playoffs but getting knocked out in the first round by Arizona, like last year? Maybe Joe Namath's "guarantee" that the Jets would win the Super Bowl was shocking in 1968, but is it so shocking that one of today's players would be so bold as to come out and say something like that? Times have changed. People say all sorts of things today. Sometimes they even believe what they say. ... David Letterman on The Late Show revealing an "incident" related to Roger Clemens' appearance before Congress this week: "Clemens vehemently denied using steroids and at one point got so angry he snapped the Washington Monument in half like a twig." ... XM satellite radio in my rental car this spring. ... Doc's All-American burger joint in Boca Raton. Excellent cheeseburgers, and juicy.

Dislikes: Are we going to have to track down every one of the 89 players fingered as guilty of using performance-enhancing drugs in the Mitchell Report this spring? We are? It's going to be excruciating reading every day over the next three months.

Sunblock day? Absolutely. Strong start to the spring in Vero Beach, where it was a hot sun and about 75 degrees on Friday.

Rock-n-Roll lyric of the day:

For all you people included in the Mitchell Report. ...

"I ain't got the time

"And if my daddy thinks I'm fine

"He's tried to make me go to rehab

"I won't go, go, go"

-- Amy Winehouse, Rehab

 
 
 
 
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