You remember Jeremy Giambi, right? When the great Theo Epstein became GM, the third move he made was to trade for Jeremy Giambi. In case you’re curious, the first two were to sign Ryan Rupe, and trade for Todd Walker. So, Theo was obviously a fan of the younger Giambi. Giambi could play a little outfield (emphasis on little). He would DH some, thereby blocking a clear path for David Ortiz. He could get on base when he was at the plate. But, even being able to do all that couldn’t help him hang on with the Sox more than the one season.
I made it to Fenway for ten games in 2003. Flipping through the scorecards, I see that Jason Giambi played in four of them. That was probably a fair representation of his workload for the Sox. He was the starting DH for the April 19th game. He walked, and scored a run. David Ortiz did not play in that game. He was the starting DH for the May 18th game against the Angels. He walked, was hit by a pitch, and scored a run. David Ortiz played first base in that game. Giambi came in as a pinch hitter in the July 19th game against the Blue Jays. David Ortiz was the starting DH. Giambi pinch-hit for Damian Jackson, who was a pinch runner for Kevil Millar, in the bottom of the tenth. Giambi singled, stole a base, reached third when the throw went into centerfield, and scored the winning run on a single. Giambi was the starting DH in the July 26th game against his brother and the New York Yankees. In the bottom of the ninth he singled, and again stole a base. He scored the winning run on David Ortiz’s pinch-hit single.
So, Giambi played in four games I attended. He scored a run in all four. In the last two, he scored the winning run in walk-off fashion. That’s pretty crazy if you ask me. But, that’s pretty much what Giambi was for. He got on base. If he got on base, he could score runs.
The Sox eventually decided they only needed one DH, so Giambi was cast aside. He really had two flaws. He wasn’t his brother (maybe because he didn’t take as many PED’s) and he wasn’t David Ortiz. Neither was his fault, of course. But, that’s the way the ball bounces sometimes.
Happy 36th Birthday Jeremy Giambi!