Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Back the Giambino

Jason Giambi's triple in the game against the tribe a few nights back has largely gone unnoticed but think about it, a Jason Giambi triple, it isn't something that you see every day. The fact that he ran hard out of the box is something that should be really uplifting to Yankee fans as it really seems that the quiet, sullen Giambi, who we have witnessed over the past twelve months has gone away and he is ready for the challenge of showing just how good he really is without the steroids.

Jason Giambi is the test case as everyone knows he was on the juice and he is no doubt clean for the 2005 season and I expect him to be constantly tested throughout the year. He had an OBP nearing .500 in both 2000 and 2001 (.476/.477) but whilst reaching those heights in the Yankees line-up where he will not see hardly any free passes is unlikely, getting back to .400+ is possible for the left-handed slugger.

The big question mark though isn't his eye, its his power numbers. Through 1999-2003 he had five consecutive 30+ HR seasons (33, 43, 38, 41, 41) and he'll need to reach that plateau again if he is to prove that using steroids does not help you hit better and further, which is something he needs to do if only to stop youngsters trying it.

Jason Giambi was a borderline HoF candidate until this whole thing blew up and he knows he needs not only to perform for his team-mates, for the franchise and for the fans, he needs to perform for himself. He is 34 years-old and has hit 281 Home Runs, so six season's of 35+ bombs and he'll be around the 500 Home Run mark. There will be those writers who won't vote for him no matter what he does because of his past but he has made a mistake and is trying very hard to rectify it.

I am rooting for Jason all the way, he is a good guy and he needs our support. If he continues to play hard and play well then I have no doubt the Yankee fans will back him all the way, but as long as he is doing his up most I think he should get 100% backing from the bleachers, and so far his attitude in Spring Training has been nothing short of exemplary.

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