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Jason Giambi

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Jason Giambi
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Jason Gilbert Giambi (Template:PronEng, born January 8, 1971) is a Major League Baseball first baseman and designated hitter for the Colorado Rockies.

He was the American League MVP in 2000 with the Oakland Athletics, and is a 5-time All-Star who has led the American League in walks 4 times, in on base percentage 3 times, in doubles and in slugging percentage once each, and won the Silver Slugger award twice. He attended Long Beach State.

Through December 2006, he is 4th in the majors of all active players in hit by pitch (127; he has been hit 8 times by David Wells in 30 at bats), 6th in on base percentage (.413), and 8th in walks (1,089).

He also is 3rd in the majors in the 2000s, through 2006, in both OBP (.438) and walks (551), 10th in slugging percentage (.582), 13th in home runs (175), and 16th in RBIs (526). Giambi is also known to have taken performance-enhancing drugs during his career, an action for which he has publicly apologized. [1]

Early yearsEdit

Born in West Covina, California, Giambi attended Sierra Vista Middle School in Covina, California.

He then attended South Hills High School, where he was a 3-sport standout. Jason was on the baseball team, whose roster also included his brother Jeremy Giambi and 3 other future Major Leaguers and teammates, infielder Shawn Wooten, pitchers (the late) Cory Lidle and Aaron Small. He batted .386 during his 3 years of varsity baseball, leading his team to the state finals as a senior. He was voted MVP in both baseball and basketball. In football, he was an All-League quarterback.

Giambi went on to play collegiately at Long Beach State.

Giambi was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 2nd round in 1992.

He spent the 1993 season playing for the Modesto A's - the Oakland Athletic's single A farm team.

He was a member of the 4th-place United States national baseball team at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.

Before making it into MLB, Giambi played a season for the Alaska Goldpanners of Fairbanks, Alaska in the Alaska Baseball League. Giambi also played for the Huntsville Stars in the Southern League.

Major league careerEdit

Oakland Athletics (1995-2001)Edit

Giambi made his major league debut in 1995 with the Oakland Athletics. Originally used occasionally as an outfielder,third baseman, and first baseman, he assumed the full-time first base job upon the trade of Mark McGwire to the St. Louis Cardinals in 1997.

Giambi led the team in 1998 with 27 home runs, 110 RBI, and a .295 batting average.

Giambi was even better in 1999, when he hit .315 with 33 homers, 105 walks (2nd in the league), and 123 RBI (6th). He came in 8th in MVP voting.

He had a sensational 2000 season. He led the league in on base percentage (.476; leading the majors) and walks (137; a personal high and still the most walks in the AL since 1991). He hit .333 (7th in the league) with 43 homers (2nd; a career high), 137 RBI (4th; a career high), 108 runs (10th), and a 647 slugging percentage (3rd). Giambi narrowly won the American League MVP award over Frank Thomas.

His 2001 season was nearly identical. He led the league for the second year in a row in both on base percentage (.477; a career best, and still the highest OBP in the AL since 1995) and walks (129). He also led the league in slugging percentage (.660; a career best), doubles (47; a career high), times on base (320), and extra base hits (87). He batted .342 (2nd in the American League; a career high) with 38 homers (7th), 109 runs (6th), and 120 RBI (8th). He was second in the league in intentional walks (24), the only time in his career that he was in the top 10 in this category. He finished a close second in MVP voting to rookie Ichiro Suzuki, and won the Silver Slugger award.

Both years, he led the Athletics to the post-season, both times losing in the American League Division Series to the New York Yankees in 5 games.

New York Yankees (2002-current)Edit

File:Giambino.jpg

On December 13, 2001, Giambi signed a 7-year $120-million deal with the New York Yankees. In line with Yankee team rules, Giambi cut his long hair and shaved his goatee. The signing upset many Athletics fans, who felt betrayed by the departure of their team leader. Giambi remains an object of the A's fans' wrath whenever New York visits Oakland. During a game on May 14, 2005, he was hit with a beer thrown by an unruly fan on his way back to the dugout.[1] New York fans, however, having seen their team pass on Manny Ramírez the previous off-season, were excited to add a top hitter to their offense, which was anemic throughout the 2001 post-season.

Giambi continued slugging with New York in 2002. He led the league for the 2nd consecutive year in times on base (300), had 109 walks (2nd), was 3rd in the league with both a .435 obp and 15 HBP, had 41 home runs (4th), 120 runs (4th; a career high), and a .598 slugging percentage (4th), knocked in 122 runs (5th), and batted .314 (6th). He came in 5th in AL MVP voting, and again won the Silver Slugger award. He also hit an "ultimate grand slam" -- a walk-off grand slam against the Twins in a rain-soaked extra-inning game, that won that game 13-12.

Although his average dipped to .250 in 2003, he led the league in walks (129) for the 3rd time in his career and in HBP (21) and percent of plate appearances that were walks (19.4%),[2] maintained an extremely high on-base percentage (.412; 3rd in the league), hit 41 home runs (4th), and had 107 RBI (8th). He was also second in the major leagues in fly ball percentage (52.0%).[3] He remained one of the most patient hitters in the majors. At the same time, he also led the league in strikeouts (140), the only season that he has even been in the top 10 in the league in that category.

On July 30, 2004, test results confirmed that Giambi had a benign tumor, which placed him on the disabled list. He was treated for the tumor, and returned to the team and played in a game on September 14. [4]

Towards the middle of the 2005 season, Giambi saw a resurgence in his career. On July 31 he hit his 300th career home run off of Esteban Yan of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. This was his 14th home run of the month, tying Mickey Mantle for the Yankee record for home runs in July.[2] Giambi ended the 2005 season leading the major leagues in walk percentage (20.6%)[5] and leading the American League in walks for the 4th time in his career (109), and in OBP for the 3rd time in his career (.440, as well as in fly ball percentage (47.7%)[6]; second in MLB to Todd Helton), and had an OPS of .975, placing him 5th in the AL. He hit 32 homers (10th in the league), the 7th time in his career in which he has hit 30 or more, and was 4th in HBP (19) and at-bats per home run (13.0). Giambi was named the AL Comeback Player of the Year.

In 2006, Giambi was named the American League Player of the Month for April, hitting .344 with 9 home runs and driving in 27 runs (RBI). However, he was left off the 2006 American League All-Star roster. He finished the season leading the majors in walk percentage (19.8%)[7] and leading the league in % Pitches Taken (64.4), 2nd in walks (110), hbp (16), and pitches seen per PA (4.37), 5th in at bats per home run (12.1), 6th in on base percentage (.416), 7th in home runs (37) and slugging percentage (.558), 8th in intentional walks (12), and 9th in RBIs (113), despite playing in only 139 games (half of them at DH, and half at 1B) for the 2nd year in a row. He performed the unusual feat of having as many RBIs as hits, and for the 3rd time in his career had more walks than strikeouts.

Giambi's numbers were down precipitously in the 2007 season due to an injury, in which he hit just .236 with 14 home runs and 39 RBI. He played in just 83 games, 53 of which as a designated hitter. Giambi got off to a horrible start in 2008, hitting below .200 for more than a month. However as of June he has turned his season around and became one of the team's most productive players, hitting 32 homeruns with an on-base percentage of 0.373. On November 5, 2008, the Yankees declined the option on Giambi's contract for the 2009 season making Giambi a free agent.

AwardsEdit

  • 1999 Oakland Athletics Player of the Year
  • 2000 Oakland Athletics Player of the Year
  • 2000 AL Most Valuable Player
  • 2001 Oakland Athletics Player of the Year
  • 2001 Baseball America 1st-Team Major League All-Star 1B
  • 2001 AL Silver Slugger Award (1B)
  • 2002 Home Run Derby Winner
  • 2002 Baseball America 2nd-Team Major League All-Star 1B
  • 2002 AL Silver Slugger Award (1B)
  • 2005 AL Comeback Player of the Year

BALCO ScandalEdit

Late in 2003, Giambi was named by FBI officers investigating the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative (BALCO) as being one of the baseball players believed to have received anabolic steroids from trainer Greg Anderson.[3]

In December 2004, the San Francisco Chronicle reported it had seen Giambi's 2003 grand jury testimony in the BALCO investigation. The newspaper said that in his testimony, Giambi admitted to using several different steroids during the off-seasons from 2001 to 2003, and injecting himself with human growth hormone during the 2003 season.[4] Giambi apologized publicly to the media and his fans, though he did not specifically state what for. The lawyer who illegally leaked the testimony later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 2 and a half years in prison.[5]

Giambi apologized again for using steroids on May 16, 2007, and urged others in the sport to do the same.[6] "I was wrong for using that stuff," he told USA Today. "What we should have done a long time ago was stand up -- players, ownership, everybody -- and said, 'We made a mistake.'" When asked why he used steroids, Giambi responded: "Maybe one day I'll talk about it, but not now." Giambi did speak with George J. Mitchell, after being forced to do so by Bud Selig. Subsequently, in December 2007, the Mitchell Report included Giambi along with his brother Jeremy Giambi. Giambi's younger brother, former major leaguer Jeremy Giambi, has also admitted to using steroids during his career.[7]

At the time of his 2007 comments, it was speculated that the New York Yankees organization might seek to void the remaining portion of his existing 7 year $120 million dollar contract, but this did not happen.[8] The Yankees hold a 2009 club option that if picked up will pay Giambi another $22 million. Otherwise, the team must buy out the option for $5 million, making Giambi a free agent for 2009.[9]

Miscellaneous factsEdit

Template:Trivia

  • Yankees broadcaster John Sterling nicknamed Giambi "The Giambino", a reference to the Bambino, former Yankee star and Hall of Famer Babe Ruth.[10]
  • In an issue of the Daily News, it was reported that that he often wears a gold thong under his uniform pants when trying to snap out of a slump. He has kept it in his locker since he played for the Athletics. Several teammates have said that they have tried wearing the same thong to get out of slumps like Derek Jeter and center fielder Johnny Damon.[11]
  • He attributes his success so far in 2008 to his mustache, the only form of facial hair permitted under Yankee policy. Other players on the team, such as Johnny Damon and Ross Ohlendorf, have had similar success after growing one. The New York Yankees also handed out free mustaches to the first 20,000 fans at their game on July 9th 2008 in honor of Giambi's mustache. [12] Jason went 1 for 3 with an RBI single in the Yankees' 2-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.

Career StatisticsEdit

Jason Giambi (Updated as of Nov 10, 2008) [13]
Games AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BA
Career 1850 6332 1116 1812 362 9 396 1279 18 .286

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

Template:New York Yankees roster navbox Template:AL MVPs Template:AL Comeback Players of the Year Template:Hutch Award Template:Home Run Derby champions Template:AL 1B Silver Slugger Award


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