January 8 – Happy Birthday Jason Giambi

In 2009, Jason Giambi had concluded a seven year contract with New York that paid him about $120 million. Jason was one of baseball’s self-admitted steroid users. He was also a terrible defensive first baseman. The Yankees made it to only a single World Series during his seven years with the team, after having played in five during the previous six years. So there’s no way you can feel sorry for this guy, right? Wrong, at least according to my lovely wife and passionate Yankee fan, Rosemary.

In June of 2005, Rosie’s birthday present to me was two tickets to a Yankee game against the Pirates. At the time, the Yankees had been playing .500 ball and Giambi was contributing next to nothing. Yankee fans remember that 2004 had been the year they found a tumor on Giambi’s pituitary gland, ending what had already become the worst season of the slugger’s career. During the 2004 post season, reports of Giambi’s admitted steroid use became public and he then issued his famous “sort of an apology”. So when Rosie and I took our seats in the first row of Yankee Stadium’s right field upper deck, Giambi was lost at the plate and New York skipper, Joe Torre, was actually batting him eighth in that day’s lineup. What surprised me a whole lot more was the volume and fierceness of the jeers from the fans that met Giambi when his name was announced before his first at-bat in the bottom of the second inning. That’s when my wife stood up and began screaming “Let’s Go Giambi, you can do it.” When she sat down I asked her when she had become such a huge Giambi fan and she told me she felt sorry for him. On that day, Giambi became her new favorite Yankee. Jason proceeded to smash a hard line drive single to right field.

In his next three at bats he did not reach base and struck out twice but the Yankees did rally from a four run deficit to force the game into extra innings. In the bottom of the tenth, Giambi came up with the winning run on second and with Rosemary standing on her feet and screaming at the top of her lungs, smashed a Jose Mesa fast ball into the right field upper deck for a game-winning two-run home run.

Remarkably, Giambi proceeded to go on a tear at the plate. When that day’s game against the Pirates started, Giambi’s batting average was .238 and he had a total of 4 home runs and 17 RBI’s for the season. By the end of that season Giambi had hit 32 home runs, driven in 87 and raised his average to .271. The Yankee record from the day of that game was 63-35 and they captured the 2005 divisional title.

This former Yankee teammate of Giambi also celebrates a birthday on January 8th as does this former Yankee reliever.

Year Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2002 NYY 155 689 560 120 176 34 1 41 122 2 109 112 .314 .435 .598 1.034
2003 NYY 156 690 535 97 134 25 0 41 107 2 129 140 .250 .412 .527 .939
2004 NYY 80 322 264 33 55 9 0 12 40 0 47 62 .208 .342 .379 .720
2005 NYY 139 545 417 74 113 14 0 32 87 0 108 109 .271 .440 .535 .975
2006 NYY 139 579 446 92 113 25 0 37 113 2 110 106 .253 .413 .558 .971
2007 NYY 83 303 254 31 60 8 0 14 39 1 40 66 .236 .356 .433 .790
2008 NYY 145 565 458 68 113 19 1 32 96 2 76 111 .247 .373 .502 .876
19 Yrs 2234 8838 7207 1224 2002 403 9 438 1436 20 1357 1560 .278 .400 .519 .919
OAK (8 yrs) 1036 4411 3667 640 1100 241 7 198 715 9 636 674 .300 .406 .531 .938
NYY (7 yrs) 897 3693 2934 515 764 134 2 209 604 9 619 706 .260 .404 .521 .925
COL (4 yrs) 230 518 420 48 104 20 0 22 86 2 79 124 .248 .375 .452 .827
CLE (1 yr) 71 216 186 21 34 8 0 9 31 0 23 56 .183 .282 .371 .653
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/8/2014.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: