Giambi battling Father Time

Charleston's offense > New York's offense
Disabled former Yank

Via BBTF comes a good piece from the New York Observer about Jason Giambi’s 2008 campaign. Giambi, 37, is trying to make a move few his age make with much success: He is trying to move to the field after being a full-time DH.

Giambi, according to Medgal, discovered running this off-season and with it, he hopes, a Fountain of Youth:

Since signing a seven-year, $120 million contract with the New York Yankees prior to the 2002 season, Giambi has been an increasingly irregular presence in the lineup, and seeing him in the field has been an even greater rarity. In his first two seasons with the Yankees, Giambi played in 313 of a possible 324 games, 97 percent, including 177 at first base. But in the past four seasons, Giambi played just 441 of 648 games, and just 211 of those at first base. Last year, Giambi appeared in just 18 games at first base, and often was replaced in the late innings for defense…

“I’d get hurt all the time, and I just took it as part of getting older,” Giambi said as he stood near his locker before yesterday’s game against Toronto, a bat leaning against his leg. “But when I worked toward getting back from the plantar fasciitis, I worked with a new doctor, who deals with—well—ballet dancers. And he told me that I had really high arches. I got these inserts”—he gestured toward prescription orthotics in his cleats—“and suddenly it didn’t hurt to run anymore.”

Giambi suffered knee and back pain so quickly, along with “dead legs,” when running in the past that it was never part of his offseason regimen. But this winter, he said, he ran every day. Giambi found a track near his Las Vegas home and learned how to run without pain for the first time, 60 yards at a time.

This winter was the first time in his career that Giambi went through a running program, and the Yanks are hoping that Giambi’s legs will stay fresher for it this year. While Giambi talks about regaining quickness, his apparent injury yesterday bodes ill for his legs.

Right now, the Yanks have to hope that this supposedly new and improved Jason Giambi is also willing to let himself heal. But at 37, it’s hard to roll back the baseball clock as it keeps on ticking ever forward.

Charleston's offense > New York's offense
Disabled former Yank
  • Steve

    Right now, the Yanks have to hope that this supposedly new and improved Jason Giambi is also willing to let himself heel.

    Was that a joke?

    • Rich

      I think Freud would have found it amusing.

      Giambi got hurt while playing his first game of the season as a DH. Maybe he can stay healthier playing in the field?

  • GoYankees

    I wonder if Matsui can learn to play at first. Unless he is traded for prospects. Speaking of which, Igawa could still be an all-star in Japan.

    • http://deleted Seamus O’Toole

      nope. won’t happen. matsui is our lf/dh.

  • pete c.

    Factor into this discussion the mediocre play at 1st. Yeah Giambi climbed the footstool on opening day and grabbed that linedrive, but the shovel pass to Jeter on a force, the busted play to open game 2 and yesterdays toss into left field by Duncan, makes me shake my head when I hear anyone say the Yanks can move Damon or Possada to 1st and not have any regression. And those are just the plays that come immediately to mind. When we”ve been told this will not be a great defensive team they weren’t kidding.

    • dan

      footstool…. good one

  • Currambayankees

    I knew it wouldn’t take long for Giambi to get hurt was hoping it would take longer than this though. I have a feeling/hoping out next 1st baseman might just be Tex.

  • zack

    The fact of the matter is that Giambi actually handles the base itself pretty well–he scoops the ball well and is a good receiving 1B. He isn’t the best fielder or thrower, but the amount of times that he himself will decide a game because of that will be very few over the course of a season, especially where his bat hasn’t at least equalized it.

    Defense is important, but 1B defense is so overrated that players like Doug Mientkiewicz not only keep getting jobs there despite being far below the offensive output needed there, but people actually use defense as a reason for wanting him back!

    We should be worried that Giambi will get hurt, because, well, he will. But having Dougie M or someone else manning 1B isn’t going to suddenly save this team 5 wins a season…

  • pete c.

    I rest my case.