NY Sports Day

Great Weekend For the Yankees, Not For Giambi

Don’t look now but the Yankees have the best record in baseball with 69 wins and are 6 ½ games up on Boston in the AL East.

The Bombers dropped the first eight games to the Red Sox this season and let’s face it, Boston has had the upper-hand since 2004. The Red Sox have won two World Championships while the Yankees haven’t won’t a playoff series over the last 5 years. But after this weekend’s sweep in the Bronx, there is definitely a feeling that the Old World Order of the Yankees owning the Red Sox may be on its way back to form.

The Oakland A’s dropped Jason Giambi like a bad habit on Friday. Giambi was hitting less than his non-steroid weight (.193) and had a paltry 11 home runs in 269 plate appearances. Unfortunately for A’s GM Billy Beane, he didn’t get much from Giambi for the $5 million he paid to the former slugger.

Let’s not shed too many tears that Giambi’s playing days are over. After all, he really cash in on a fraudulent baseball career.

After the Yankees lost the 2001 World Series to the Arizona Diamondbacks, Brian Cashman reached out to Giambi to help put some pop in a line up that lost fan-favorites Paul O’Neill and Scott Brosius to retirement, while Tino Martinez was allowed to test the free-agent market.

Needless to say, the Yankees didn’t get their money’s worth for their $120 million investment in Giambi.

In Giambi’s seven seasons in the Big Apple, New York advanced to the World Series one time and advanced past the Division Series only twice. Giambi hit five home runs in 33 playoff games, but only one since the 2003 Series loss to the Marlins.

You really can’t blame Cashman for making the move. The former AL MVP definitely was ripe for the picking in 2002: Giambi was coming off four-consecutive 100-RBI seasons, belting 116 home runs over the last three years and had six-straight seasons of hitting .290 or better and a career high .342 in 2001.

Unfortunately for Yankee fans, Giambi was never the dominate player as advertised after MLB’s steroid policy was put in place before the 2004 season.

From 2004 through 2008, Giambi never reached 500 at bats in a season; reached 90 plus RBI’s twice; hit only 12 home runs in 2004 and 14 in 2007 and hit .253 or below in five of his last six seasons in the Bronx.

Not exactly MVP numbers.

Future Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltz was designated for assignment by the Red Sox after he was bomb shelled in the Bronx last Thursday night.

The Yankees tattooed Smoltz for 8 runs in 3 1/3 innings of work. It’s sad to see players like Smoltz switch teams and hang around too long. It makes me think of Joe Namath with the Rams or Mohammad Ali hoping for one more shot of glory like he did against Larry Holmes.

Smoltz was 2-5 with a 8.32 ERA in eights starts with Boston. No worries John, in five years you will be standing alongside Tom Glavine to accept your rightful place in Cooperstown.

Smoltz notched  212 career wins, with 154 saves and a 3.32 ERA, despite playing in a time when hitters had numerous advantages over pitchers.

Mike is a MLB Producer Sirius-XM Satellite Radio and the Game-Day Producer for the NY Giants Radio Network

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