There was something Sampsonesque about Colorado Rockies’ first baseman Jason Giambi’s three home runs last night in Philadelphia. You could be forgiven for being surprised to learn that the former MVP was still plying his trade in Major League Baseball, relegated mainly to pinch hit duty with a few starts sprinkled in to give rest to the regulars.
Last night was one such occasion. The 40 year old ballplayer got the start at first base and responded with his first career three home run game, hitting a three-run and two-run shot off of Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick, as well as a two run homer off of reliever Danys Baez.
For a five year period, from 1999 – 2003, Jason Giambi was among the best playes in baseball. He accumulated almost 200 home runs during that time, with an on base percentage of .444 and a slugging percentage just under .600. Only Barry Bonds and Alex Rodriguez had more wins above replacement during that date range.
Unfortunately, Giambi’s body couldn’t keep up and his numbers never really justified the $120 million that the Yankees paid him over seven years. In 2009, he went back to Oakland for a season, but was released in July after struggling with an OPS under .700. Surprisingly, Giambi wasn’t ready to call it a career. Instead of retiring, he caught on with Colorado, won a job and performed admirably off the bench, a role that he’s embraced again so far this season.
Of course, anything written about Giambi’s career would be incomplete without mentioning that in 2004, the San Francisco Chronicle ran a story revealing that Giambi had admitted to using several different types of performance enhancing drugs from 2001 to 2003. He twice apologized publicly for using steroids and human growth hormone, and participated in the Mitchell Report at the behest of commissioner Bud Selig, where he and his brother Jeremy were both named as admitted steroid users.
And The Rest
Washington Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo doesn’t care much for Phil Cuzzi. You’d think that the two would be able to bond over the double “z” in their last names.
Wait a minute. So, you’re saying that Colby Rasmus isn’t really my facebook friend?
Andre Ethier is such a bad ass. Aside: Is there anything less inventive or creative than the middle finger? If you want to make an obscene gesture, I recommend taking your [Getting Blanked] and using it to [Getting Blanked] until it looks like [Getting Blanked].
Hardball Talk’s Craig Calcaterra takes a look at the most memorable home runs in each franchise’s history.
I haven’t really visited The Atlantic’s website since Andrew Sullivan left, and articles like this aren’t exactly inspiring me to return. The Kansas City Royals may well be better than the New York Yankees . . . in 2013, but we’re not quite there yet.
Who would you rather sit down and talk to? Kevin Youkilis:
Or Joe Maddon: