Mar
16

Athletics Nation interviews Giambi

By

If anyone is missing Jason Giambi this spring, you can head over to Athletics Nation where Tyler Bleszinski has conducted an interview with the former Yanks first baseman. It’s quite the long one — and it’s only the first part. Jason talks about the difference between playing in Oakland and playing in New York, how he views himself on each team, and the adjustments he made to his swing upon coming to the Yanks.

Head over to read the whole thing — I can’t possibly do it justice without completely reprinting it. However, there were a couple of parts I found particularly interesting. The first of which is Giambi’s reply to the question of how he views himself as a defensive first baseman. I didn’t know what to expect after reading the question, but it certainly wasn’t this: “I view myself as great.” Yeah, right. Tyler’s talking about playing first base, Jason, not about chugging Jack. Jay at Fack Youk takes a closer look at this statement.

Most interesting, though, is the revelation that Giambi very well might not have been a Yankee had ownership not intervened. The A’s and Giambi apparently had a place in deal before the 2001 season which would have paid Big G around $90 million over six years.

Trust me, I wanted to stay in Oakland. We had a deal done. You can ask Billy Beane. It was my free agent year before the season started. And ownership at the time pulled the deal off the table. I had flown my parents out, my agent, everybody. A lot of people don’t know that.

That creates one massive what-if scenario. Looking at the list of free agents that year, there was really only one superstar bat available: Barry Bonds. Would the Yanks have pursued him to fill their left field void? He was, after all, fresh off a record-breaking season. The Giants ended up signing him for four years and $72 million with a $18 million club option, but without another blue-chip slugger on the market perhaps the Yankees would have put their resources towards Bonds.

Barring that, they could have gone forward with a Johnny Damon signing, putting him in left field. Considering the money they would have saved on Giambi, they could have as easily signed Rondell White, too, to play right field.

I love how one little interview sparks so many questions. We’ll never know how Yankee history would have unfolded had Giambi re-upped with the A’s in 2001. But it’s fun to think about for sure.

Categories : Interviews

26 Comments»

  1. jsbrendog says:

    break out the delorean. im curious.

  2. radnom says:

    Alou was a FA as well..

  3. Memo says:

    No matter how often I view myself as a size 4 I’m still not.

  4. Ace says:

    Off topic but I have to post it…

    Kei Igawa this spring – 9 innings, 5 hits, 9 strikeouts, 0 earned runs

  5. Jake H says:

    That’s crazy.

  6. A.D. says:

    List of FA that year:

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.c.....agents_ap/

    Realistically Bonds, Alou & Damon are the only 3 that seem to make sense as a Giambi replacement

    • Ed says:

      Juan Gonzalez would’ve looked like a great signing at the time. Would’ve played out terribly fo course.

      • Drew says:

        I think most of the FA’s would’ve shaken out similarly to Giambino. The one big difference would’ve been Damon which might have saved us great pain in ’04. It does make me wonder though, who would we have picked up at first base via trade or FA?

  7. Miles Roche says:

    “They could have signed Rondell White, too. . . ”
    As far as i remember, Joe, they did sign him. . .

    • Joseph P. says:

      Yeah, of course they did. The bit Ben did on Damon in 2002, though, was based on the idea that they would sign Damon instead of White. Sans Giambi, they might have gone for both.

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