Giambi: “Enigma” or Washed-Up Juicer?

It seems there are those who find the recent travails of Jason Giambi mysterious. “Giambi is an Enigma Wrapped in Pinstripes” proclaims an NYT headline. He still has a good eye for balls and strikes, optimists say. “A guy doesn’t forget how to hit,” claims one scout. And Jason tells us he was locked in earlier in the season (small sample size, anyone?). Is there really any mystery here? Could our man Jason simply be an aging, broken down former drug user who’s been in steady decline for several years? What, exactly, is enigmatic about Jason Giambi, besides his apologies (which, come to think of it, weren’t that enigmatic either.) Sometimes the truth hurts.

18 comments… add one
  • hey, to all of yah redsox fans, bosox got lucky in winning the 2004 ALCS. SO WHAT THEY WON THE WORL SERIES, IT’S ONE AND IT’S THE LAST TIME THE REDSOX WILL A F***IN WORLD SERIES. THE YANKEES IS ALL MLB’S HISTORY. THE YANKEES MADE MOST OF THE MLB’S HISTORY.THE YANKEES ARE THE GREATEST AND YA HAVE TO ADMIT IT.

    hi-thum May 13, 2005, 11:53 am
  • Gee, that’s almost literate, hi-thum, but could we please keep the comments at least somewhere in the vicinity of the thread topic. thx.

    YF May 13, 2005, 12:03 pm
  • While hi-thum’s comment is a tough act to follow…it’s worth mentioning that two weeks into the baseball season, Giambi was batting .229, with two extra-base hits, an OPS of .757, and 4BB/9K’s. Admittedly his numbers jumped momentarily during the 19-8 thrashing of the D-Rays, but the fact that he’s pointing to the early part of the season as a time when he was “hitting well” speaks volumes about what he’s become.

    Earl May 13, 2005, 12:59 pm
  • YF, what is somewhat enigmatic about Giambi is that he had a similar start last year, an awful april, which turned into a strong may (he hit .222/.395/.397, with 3 hr’s in april and then followed with a .310/.385/.638 with 5 hr’s in May)). If not for a turned ankle in Texas, he would added to those numbers, and then the tumor, etc ruined the rest of his year. He’s obviously not going to reach the absurd level he was at in Oakland (heck even his first year with the Yanks was pretty ridiculous) but there’s this glimmer of hope that he showed last may…

    Nick May 13, 2005, 4:13 pm
  • Right. So a year ago, BEFORE he had a tumor, BEFORE he hurt his anke, there was a GLIMMER of hope.
    Look. We don’t want the guy to fail. And it’s certainly plausible that he can recover something of his stroke and return to a level that would be, well, not terrible. But let’s face it. He’s not getting any younger, he doesn’t seem to be getting any better, and he won’t go down to the minors where he can play every day and save the team some cash. Which could be used on someone with a positive VORP.

    YF May 13, 2005, 4:50 pm
  • 1st AB vs Harden: K on 3 pitches, all looking (upside: at least he didn’t whiff!)

    YF May 13, 2005, 10:40 pm
  • 2nd AB vs Yabu: Deep fly to right on 2-1. Good swing. But against a reliever just throwing it over. And boy you gotta wonder if a couple of years ago that’s 20 rows deep.

    YF May 13, 2005, 11:20 pm
  • Why should Giambi care about saving Steinbrenner’s money?

    Sam May 13, 2005, 11:46 pm
  • 3rd AB vs Yabu: K swinging (tried to check!) on a ball in the dirt. 3-1 pitch looked like ball 4, here, but our man hasn’t exactly earned any breaks.
    PS: Sam. He should’t; But to the extent that being a “team player” benefits the rest of the team, he might consider it. At some point his act is gonna where thin on his mates, even if he gets every one free deodorant.

    YF May 14, 2005, 12:05 am
  • This guy is out and out terrible. Thinking that it’s just a slump or any other crazy exuse is just crazy. What’s the next reason this guy gives baseball – Maybe when the weather gets warmer the bat warms up? In a perfect world, the Yankess buy out his contract and release him, he signs for almost nothing with another team and proceeds to hit .310 for the year. The odds of that happening are about as good as poster hi-thum passing an English-Lit course at the local community college. I almost feel bad for the guy, but then I think back to the 2003 ALCS when a juiced up Giambi proceeded to take Pedro deep countless times to push the Yanks into the series. Or, I think back to 1999 when Giambi made public statements in SI about how bad it was for baseball to allow the Yankees to just buy up all the talent in the league and how much he hated the way the Yankees did business – and then he put his foot in his mouth all the way up to the knee by signing with them. I take it back, I dont feel sorry for him at all. I don’t feel bad for anyone in this situation. Giambi deserves every boo that he gets from the agitated New York fans, and Steinbrenner and Cashman deserve to lose every dollar they invested if they knew he was suspect of being on the stuff in the first place. If the Yankees indeed didn’t know anything about the steroids, of course they don’t deserve to lose the money – but common sense tells you they did. Giambi just sliced a triple down the line – but much like everything about this guy, of course it was an error. The best thing that could happen to Yankee fans is if this guy chains himself to Brown, Steinbrenner, Cashman, and a rock – and then proceed to jump into the sewage dump that is the Hudson River.

    Brad-SF May 14, 2005, 12:58 am
  • 4th AB vs Cruz: Hard two-strike single to right on a crappy flat curve on the outside half. Plus two extra bases on a fielding faux pas. Cruz looks terrible, so we’re tempted to write this off, especially as he flailed at a high first-pitch fastball. But we suppose we should give credit where credit is due, and the swing looked good in the replay. Although pulling pitches on the outside half is perhaps part of his problem.

    YF May 14, 2005, 12:59 am
  • When commenting on the remarks of hi-thum, I am reminded of the wise words of Napolean Dynomite : “it’s probably only the coolest thing ever”. Of course, by “thing”, I mean intelligence. Please do not decide to procriate. In fact, include yourself in the chain gang my fellow sox fan spoke of.

    Beantown May 14, 2005, 2:08 am
  • Hey, YF, let’s not sound like Sox fans, looking for the lead lining. Tino hit 7 in 8 games, the Yanks have won 6 in a row, and are tied with the Sox for 1st in the major leagues in runs scored. Moose is looking good, Johnson may have his fastball back, and KB combined with Moose for 16 scoreless innings. Life is good.
    Sure, it would have been good if Giambi had done to Columbus, but if he comes through on the multi-game test Joe is giving him, it mighb be even better for his head. He was mashing the ball in spring training, and maybe trying to hit to the opposite field messed him up. Donnie Baseball has pronounced that test over. It’s back to pulling, which sure has worked for Tino.

    john yf May 14, 2005, 8:48 am
  • Did anyone else feel totally bad for Giambi when that drunk a-hole dumped a beer on him? I mean, sure, he deserves much if not all of the criticism that he’s currently receiving, but man, could things get worse for the guy? No one in the dugout even went over to stick up for him or anything. Tino toweled some residual beer off the top of the dugout, and that was it. Sad.
    ps – I’m sorta hoping for more posts from hi-thum.

    Spidey May 15, 2005, 3:07 pm
  • With the Sox reeling in the wake of a Seattle beat-down, what else do I have to look foreward to other than hi-thum postings?

    Brad-SF May 16, 2005, 12:41 am
  • Spidey – Overall, I feel totally bad for Giambi. I was at both Saturday and Sunday’s games, and had a good view of the beer throwing. He just looks and acts pathetic. He looks slouched over, defeated and deflated at the plate. He has obvs. made some huge mistakes in his life, but I commend him for owning up to them. It was nice to see him get the game winning hit yesterday -at least it shut up all of the Oakland fans who boo him at every at bat, and who conveniently forget that his steroid use started as an Athletic. And, don’t even get me started on the SF Chronicle – the A’s and the Giants are playing so terribly they have had TWO articles the last two days on the front page of the sports section focusing on Giambi and steroids, his decline, etc. One would think there would be something else for them to focus on, but apparently not.

    yankeegirl May 16, 2005, 2:12 pm
  • Yankeegirl — I generally agree with your post, but when did Giambi “own up” to his mistakes? He held a press conference in which he apologized, but he never said what he was apologizing for. And I can’t think of the last time he used the word “steroids” in public.

    Earl May 16, 2005, 3:15 pm
  • Earl- I am referring to his leaked grand jury testimony, which of course is not public, and was supposed to be secret. You are right – he wasn’t very forthcoming in his press conference, but I think we can read into his apology and know what he was referring to. And I would argue that because of his involvement with the BALCO case, he might be prohibited or is being advised against making any statements that relate to his testimony before the grand jury. I wouldn’t blame him. Anything he says in public could incriminate him.

    yankeegirl May 16, 2005, 4:47 pm

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