Another ESPN article that's about 2 weeks behind the times
It's a remarkable story of a hitter so dangerous, he's forced the Yankees to overlook his defensive shortcomings. And even that deficit, Giambi says, doesn't seem so ugly anymore.
"I feel healthier overall, and it's helped me in the field, too," Giambi said Monday evening, before the Yankees' 7-3 loss to the Red Sox.
But the Yankees will tell you Giambi's offensive explosion is a primary reason they're leading the East in runs, second in the AL only to the Indians, and why there's no compelling reason to find a new first baseman.
"Jason is one of the top five offensive forces in the game right now," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said. "With the combination of power, on-base percentage and his walks, he's lethal."
Just how long can Giambi keep hitting at this rate? He's not crazy enough to venture a guess, convinced only that working with hitting instructor Don Mattingly has paid an enormous benefit.
Being healthy for an entire year has helped, too. Giambi said, "After [the 2004] season, I was too tired to do anything until December, but last year I was able to go home and start working out right away. I was able to stay with it."
Giambi is also flying beneath the steroids radar, which has allowed him to focus on baseball -- for now, anyway. While the investigation of Barry Bonds intensifies, both on the federal level and in the commissioner's office, Giambi is living controversy free.
Unlike Bonds, who may have perjured himself in his testimony to the BALCO grand jury two winters ago (at least according to the book "Game of Shadows"), Giambi was completely honest about his past use of steroids.
The Yankees have had no comment about the contents of the book, and don't appear to be conducting any investigation of their own. Left on his own, Giambi has enjoyed a mini-renaissance that's fulfilling the Bombers' dream of a thousand-run summer.
But if there's really a need to explain the emergence of the New Giambi (which is actually the Old Giambi) he doesn't discount this theory: being reunited with Damon, a former A's teammate and his best friend in pinstripes, has created an uncharacteristic hipness in an otherwise corporate and uptight clubhouse.
"Johnny is definitely a missing piece of the puzzle here," Giambi said. "I've known him for a long time, he's a great guy and a great teammate. He adds an element to this clubhouse."
Controversy-free. I never really considered what kind of affect a steriods cloud could have on a player, but it certainly seems like Jason is finally comfortable in pinstripes.