Giambi Doing Giambi Things

“As someone who watched Giambi play the field for seven years – when he was younger and fresher, let us not forget – I can confidently say that Rockies fans will rise in open revolt if Jim Tracy heeds Kiszla’s advice. Giambi is the worst defensive first baseman I have ever seen, and it’s not even close. He’s stiff, he has no range, he can’t jump, he can’t scoop balls out of the dirt, and don’t even ask him to throw the ball, because it will end up in the outfield or the stands. He’s abysmal. Nice guy, good hitter, crippling defender.” – me, on May 28th

And now:

“Both teams wasted opportunities with men in scoring position in the opening two innings before Arizona went ahead 1-0 in the third. Willis singled to start the inning and went to second on a throwing error from first baseman Jason Giambi. With one out, Drew singled sharply to left field and Willis raced home, sliding head-first to the plate to delight the crowd.” game recap of yesterday’s 4-3 Diamondbacks win

I can’t find the video anywhere, but I saw it live on MLBtv. Giambi heaved the ball over Troy Tulowitzki’s head and into left field. Colorado’s inability to hit a wild Dontrelle Willis was the main reason they lost the game, but Giambi’s throwing error hurt quite a bit too.

Still want Giambi at first, Dan Kiszla?

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2 Responses to Giambi Doing Giambi Things

  1. sasoc says:

    There’s a bigger issue with Giambi in that without drugs he cannot hit the ball. In New York he had to cycle off the juice and became worse than a little leaguer at the plate, swinging ten minutes behind the fast ball. He was literally a mess and was very embarrassed.

    Which is why, though I could never prove it, he cycled back on to HGH or the equivalent because the humiliation of batting 0.050 was worse than getting thrown out of the league for a second offense. Some guys literally can’t hit Major League pitching without their drugs.

    These include Little Papi in Boston, who last year batted about 0.150 after it had been revealed he was a juicer, and “Pudge” Rodgriguez, who joined the Yankees for a short time amidst the controversy, got clean (most likely – he looked a lot thinner…..) and promptly looked lost at the plate.

    Little Papi came back strong in last year’s second half (from what I’ve read), and does anyone believe he stayed clean and merely “found his swing”? Ridiculous. A little psychology suggests that all of these losers start cheating again because the avoidance of humiliation is one of the most powerful human motivations. And the difficulty or impossibility of detecting HGH made the gamble a good one for them.

    But they are not fooling everyone, or maybe anyone. Without cheating, they can’t hit, and that’s the sad truth.

  2. Kevin says:

    Although I agree with your belief that many players use HGH because there’s no test for it, I do think the rest of your argument lacks some nuance.

    Lost in the whole steroid era uproar is the fact that no one really knows if PEDs actually help you play baseball better. The assumption is, of course, that PEDs make players bigger, faster, stronger, and therefore better equipped to play baseball. But in the studies I’ve seen, the link between dramatically improved baseball skills and the consumption of PEDs is far from conclusive. Therefore, I think it’s a little extreme to say “without cheating, they can’t hit.” There are so many variables that go into a hitter’s performance that it’s a vast oversimplification to say that steroids equal success and no steroids equals failure.

    You didn’t bring this up specifically, but also lost in the steroids uproar is the fact that pitchers used too. Of the 26 MLB players who have tested positive for a PED, 16 are pitchers and 10 are hitters. I have no idea if that sample is representative of the whole, but it’s the only sample we’ve got, so it’s worth noting. It’s fun to rag on players like Giambi, Ortiz, and Pudge for their declining performance, but let’s not forget that the guys on the mound got a boost from the steroid era too.

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