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A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


Jason Giambi answers your questions

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc, Podcast on May 06, 2007 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

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Nearly 300 readers from this blog and The Journal News sent in questions for Jason Giambi. We selected 10 of them and a few days ago sat down with Jason and asked him the questions. He was so into the interview that I ended up asking him 17 of your questions.

I was surprised, frankly, at how few questions there were about steroids and other controversies. But revisiting that issue is old news at this point.

This is the second in a series of such interviews. The first was with Derek Jeter in February. I’m hoping to do this once a month or so.

Thanks to everybody who sent in questions and please do not be offended if your question was not asked. It was tough to narrow them down. And thanks again to Jason for agreeing to participate. The Big G is a good guy and hopefully that comes through.

Here is the complete transcript and the audio:

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Steve asks: In Oakland you had a boisterous clubhouse. Do you think the Yankees would be better off with that kind of thing going on sometimes?

Jason Giambi: “I just think it’s two different atmospheres. Of course, we were younger in Oakland. We had a good time, not that we don’t have a good time here. But it’s just different. Guys are older. Guys have played longer in the league. Sometimes you also have to be careful, too, because, you know, a prime example in New York … with the little model airplanes (the players play with in Oakland). That can be construed in the media. Some people aren’t going to get it and be all over you. But there it was fun and we were the underdog and they loved that we were different from everybody else. Here it’s a little more business-like.”

————

Rich asks: Everybody knows that you live in Las Vegas. What’s your favorite place to go in Vegas?

Jason Giambi: “It depends what night. There are different places to go every single night. All my buddies run all the nightclubs. I’m not a gambler. I’ll gamble when my buddies come to town. But I like to just go out and have a good time.”

————

Tom asks: How did you get that scar on your upper lip?

Jason Giambi: “I was bit by a dog when I was a kid. My grandmother had a Scotty dog. I went to go pet it and kiss him on the face and he bit me.”

————

Samantha asks: Do you have a clause in your contract that you can drive motorcycles and fast cars?

Jason Giambi: “I used to in Oakland but I don’t have one in New York.”

Follow up: Has there ever been one crazy thing you’ve done that didn’t want anybody to know about in terms of that?

Jason Giambi: “I’ve been bungee jumping … I’ve gone probably way too fast before. I’ve done that. I’ve hung out with like (Champ Car champion) Paul Tracy. I used to have a fast boat I’d go on. I’m not scared to go fast.”

————

John asks: Other than you, who’s the craziest guy in this clubhouse?

Jason Giambi: “I’d probably say Johnny (Damon).”

Follow up: And who’s the best guy to go get a beer with?

Jason Giambi: “It depends on what you’re looking for. If you want to go look at pretty girls, you go out with Derek (Jeter), you know? Conversationalist? It would be probably Johnny to joke around. He’d be crazier. Those two guys.”

————

Kirsten asks: I heard your dog (Slugger) was being treated for cancer. How is he doing?

Jason Giambi: “He’s hanging in there. I don’t know how he’s doing it. He’s hanging in there. He’s a trooper.”

————

Tim asks: What are you listening to on your iPod these days?

Jason Giambi: “I’m like one of those guys that loves everything. From Nickelback to Kid Rock to Alice in Chains to things like that. I like all different types of music.”

————

Jon asks: What is your favorite restaurant in New York City?

Jason Giambi: “I’d say there’s a couple I go to. I usually go to Luke’s a lot, which is guaranteed. I like Tao a lot. I like Elio’s. Those would be my main ones.”

————

Many people asked: In Oakland you hit to all fields. With the Yankees you’ve pulled the ball a lot more. Would you want to get back to what you did before?

Jason Giambi: “I’d like to hit the ball more to all fields. But at the same time, a lot of it changed because of the way Yankee Stadium is configured. I would reach left center in Oakland. Where here, 400 feet is a long way away, especially early in the year when it’d cold and the ball’s not traveling. After a while you get tired of being booed so you pull the ball a little bit more.”

————

Shant asks: A lot of people believe you have one of the best batting eyes in the game. Do you do anything to train yourself or do any kind of vision exercises?

Jason Giambi: “Dr. (Bill) Harrison is a guy I work with. I met him a long time ago when I was in college. I do little eye exercises and things. A lot of it is when I was a kid growing up, my dad and I used to play a game when I was a kid. He would throw me a pitch and ask me where it was. I just kind of honed that in as I got older. Being around (Mark) McGwire and those guys, because he used to walk a lot. That was kind of really the theory of the A’s, which honed it in even more. Because I was really selective.”

————

Alexander asks: If you could have a beer with anybody in history, who would it be?

Jason Giambi: “History? Wow. I would probably say I have like … They always say who would be your four to go to dinner with? I always say Jackie Robinson would be one. Just to talk to him. Bambino to have a beer with. I mean, why not? I was close, I got a chance to hang out with Whitey Ford and the Mantle boys but I would love to hang out with Mickey. My last would be … ah, that’s good enough.”

————

Ben asks: Has there ever been a pitcher who intimidated you?

Jason Giambi: “No.”

————

Jimmy D: What player in baseball would you least like to get into a fight with?

Jason Giambi: “Least want to get in a fight with? Farnsy might be a guy. (Jason) Isringhausen. He’s like Baby Huey. You’d have to kill him to have him stop fighting. Those are it.”

————

A lot of people asked: Every time they show you on TV, your hair is always slicked back. Is it just wet or is it gel?

Jason Giambi: “A little bit of both. It’s just wet. Because when it gets long it just gets all in my face. So I lot of times what I do is wet it so I can roll it straight back, during the games. It’s sweaty and wet. A lot of people ask that. ‘What gel do you use?’ ”

————

Rich asks: You’re one of the highest-paid players in the game this season. Do you look at that and say I need to do X-amount of things statistically to live up to that?

Jason Giambi: “You know what? And this is the honest-to-God true answer. I have never played this game one day for money. I always played because I wanted to be good. That’s one of the things I was taught as a young player. That if you go play every single day like you want to be the best player in the game, then they’re going to give you the money. That will come hand-in-hand. I’ve seen a lot of guys who’ve gone the other way and played for money and they were miserable. What’s why I enjoy the game so much, because I love to be out there every day. I know there are responsibilities that come when you have a high salary. But at the same time, I look at it like, hey, when I was winning the MVP and I was not making a lot of money, I still feel like I’m still the same player. You try and just be that big force in the middle. Sometimes your numbers are not what you want them to be, but as long as you’re that presence.”

————

Kyle asks: If Bonds Breaks the home run record, should there be an asterisk next to his name?

Jason Giambi: “No, I don’t think so. People forget that (hitting) a baseball is the hardest thing to do in any sport. There’s nothing on this planet that’s going to make you hit a baseball.”

————

JK asks: When you retire do you think you’d write a book about your experiences?

Jason Giambi: “Yeah, probably some day. That would be fun, trust me.”

————

Comments

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45 Responses to “Jason Giambi answers your questions”

  1. Huuz May 6th, 2007 at 3:14 am

    Giambi has slowly become one of my favorites on this team. I think the trajectory of being at the top, hitting rock bottom (in 2004, with the tumor and the steroids thing), then trusting himself and becoming productive again in 2005, despite everyone saying he should quit or go to the minors. That, along with the fact that he seems to be himself. I don’t get the impression that he’s a phony.

    $20M is a helluva lot of $, but i’m glad he’s on our team. Seems like a fun guy.

  2. Mac May 6th, 2007 at 3:24 am

    Fantastic. The Farnsy comment is also just hilarious.

  3. Huuz May 6th, 2007 at 3:25 am

    p.s. Pete:

    this Q&A is one of favorite parts of your blog. thanks for the extra work. i bet I check this site 20 times/day. i go here for Yankees news before i go to espn.com.

    your boss should give you a raise.

    thanks again.

  4. Ben N.C. May 6th, 2007 at 3:48 am

    Thank you — for the blog, for the Q&A and for asking my questions. This is the closest I’m ever getting to the Yankees, especially living down here in the South. I’d rather read this than any of your competition, to say the least. You covering the game today? Thanks again.

  5. Brandon May 6th, 2007 at 3:59 am

    Great job Pete. As a fan of the Yankees, it is so great to be able to hear an interview with one of the players where you get to understand them as a person, not just a ballplayer. Listening to Giambi take more time to answer questions about his favorite restaurant, bar, or who he would most like to drink with, while he can quickly answer baseball questions, makes me realize how much fun this guy must be.

  6. CGramazio May 6th, 2007 at 4:19 am

    Very nice Pete. I enjoyed the Farnsworth comment as well. After reading that it makes me think they need to make Farnsworth their enforcer. Have Farnsworth deliver some of the payback some teams have coming. Not that I’m condoning anything.

  7. Stef May 6th, 2007 at 5:20 am

    Who would I want to go for a beer with? Giambi! What a hoot. I’d loved to shoot the breeze with him. You sounded like you enjoyed yourself, too, Pete. Why don’t you start getting your bid in now to help him author his autobiography??

  8. ElMaestro May 6th, 2007 at 5:24 am

    Great job Pete, congrats from another Pete (Pedro actually)… Your blog has become a “must check” website for me every day.

    Keep up the good work.

  9. Annie Savoy May 6th, 2007 at 6:35 am

    Pete – an entertaining interview – do you really think that steroids are old news?

  10. Jeff May 6th, 2007 at 8:02 am

    Great interview, Giambi seems like one of the few guys on the team with a personality.

  11. SlickBomb May 6th, 2007 at 8:30 am

    Thanks for this, Pete. It’s a great interview with one of my favorite Yankees, personality-wise. Two things of note:

    1. All the “different kinds of music” he likes? All rock. I’m pretty sure the Giambino doesn’t listen to emo, but that would be hilarious.

    2. The Bonds asterisk thing might be a touch self-interested, no?

    Also, “Posted on 2:38 Sunday”? Way too late to be working, pal.

  12. rover May 6th, 2007 at 8:50 am

    said it once before, someone give me one little reason not to like an respect jason, and well i will consider it before i tell you to take a hike. glad hes ours.

  13. Baseballs May 6th, 2007 at 8:52 am

    “Nickelback to Kid Rock to Alice in Chains”…
    lol.. yea, all kinds of music. Great interview, though. Sounds like the kind of guy I’d like to have a beer with… and chase some skirts. Another fine job, Pete!

  14. EV May 6th, 2007 at 8:53 am

    This interview had me laughing hysterically. Thanks a million – great way to start the day!

  15. Samantha May 6th, 2007 at 9:05 am

    Pete
    Thank you so much for this interview.

  16. li May 6th, 2007 at 9:10 am

    That was just great! Sounds like you should try for Damon next.

  17. Shant May 6th, 2007 at 9:26 am

    Pete – Thanks for selecting my question!

  18. Russell May 6th, 2007 at 9:57 am

    Rasner then DeSalvo… warm up that bullpen. The only thing that could be worse is Kei then Igawa.

  19. Rick (Columbus) May 6th, 2007 at 10:24 am

    Pete,
    Awesome!! Thank you for setting that up. I saw Jason in a “rehab” game here in Columbus.
    He is a big dude!
    Hey how about getting Bazooka Joe (Zim) for a Q & A?

  20. Rick (Columbus) May 6th, 2007 at 10:26 am

    Oh yeah, The Farnsworth thing was awesome! Did’nt he pick up Gabe Kapler and toss him to the ground like a rag doll once before he can to the Yanks?

  21. Annie Savoy May 6th, 2007 at 10:46 am

    Pete – Revisiting steroids is an old issue?

  22. murphydog May 6th, 2007 at 10:58 am

    Everybody makes mistakes. Depending on the degree and consequences, you write off most mistakes to human nature, not evil.

    Despite the almost fatal (at least professionally speaking) mistake it was for Jayson to use steroids, despite all the controversy it caused and all the negative attention it created, Jayson sounds like a guy who is pretty comfortable with himself. It sounded like he did a “word association” session, responding to the questions without a lot of reflection or evaluation – except for his answer to that sly Bonds question. (Well done, Kyle).

    True, “it’s hard to hit a baseball.” Yet the answer is equal parts denial and self-serving. Implicit in Jayson’s answer is his belief that Bonds juiced up (it takes one to know one?). Yet there was no trace of acknowledgment of the integrity-of-the-game issues this raises. I realize he can’t address it now, but maybe in a few years, when he ghost-writes his autobiography, he will have the distance and guts to fully confront himself and the others, including Bud Seling and the owners, and honestly address steroids and baseball.

    All that said, you have to be intrigued by a guy who comes through a personal test like he did and find that he seems positive, apparently clear of conscience and able to make a contribution to the team. Taking Giambi at face value, this is a lesson in moving on from failure, making peace with the past and enjoying whatever time you have left, whether it be in life or baseball. No wonder people like him, warts and all.

  23. girl in nc May 6th, 2007 at 11:27 am

    I bet everyone else in the clubhouse would say he would be the guy to go get a beer with. Thanks Peter!

  24. Michael May 6th, 2007 at 11:49 am

    Thanks a lot Peter. Great work. You deserve a raise to say the least.

  25. Jimmy May 6th, 2007 at 12:34 pm

    Well done.

    Giambi and Damon are the two guys that seem like true ‘teammate’ type guys. I’m glad to have them.

  26. LT May 6th, 2007 at 12:41 pm

    Wow, could he be any cooler? It’s impossible to not like him. Good questions.

    Pete,
    These Q&A things are fantastic. Hope they continue.
    I can’t tell you how much I appreciate this blog – thank you!

    p.s. What did you think of Tom Brady getting snapped with Yankees hat? pretty funny, IMO.

  27. Mommy May 6th, 2007 at 12:48 pm

    Pete, will you be doing this type of thing with any other players? I’d love to have you get through a good chunk of the team by season end!

  28. Mommy May 6th, 2007 at 12:49 pm

    Oh I just noticed you’ll be doing this once a month. It would help if I read the whole thing! Who’s next??

  29. Doreen May 6th, 2007 at 12:57 pm

    Nice interview Pete, and I thought the questions that were chosen were good ones. Giambi sounds easy-going and personable. You just get a good vibe from him.

  30. Harry May 6th, 2007 at 2:16 pm

    Pete.. thanks for the efforts..

    but this is a very very vanilla interview…

    no questions regarding his interview with Tom verducci outing ARod.. whats the deal with that

  31. Dave D May 6th, 2007 at 2:36 pm

    Pete – great stuff. Thanks so much for this, I know I and everyone else appreciates you going above and beyond your newspaper duties here.

  32. claybeez May 6th, 2007 at 10:37 pm

    Awesome. Thanks for this Pete. Keep up the good work!

  33. Khoa Le May 7th, 2007 at 3:20 am

    What great questions and excellent responses from The Giambino. Thanks Pete (and contributors)…Jason and Johnny (Damon) really seem like two of the nicest guys in baseball.

  34. Nimtor May 7th, 2007 at 11:08 am

    Thanks Pete, Keep up the good work ! Really alot of fun to read this all.

  35. Fran August 26th, 2007 at 1:14 pm

    I am a life long, long lived, Red Sox fan . . . I am filled with admiration of the honesty and integrity displayed by Jason Giambi as he confronts the steroid issue that has impacted athletics. My heart breaks, once for him and once again for the country, that he is not respected for his integrity.

    I was drawn to sport by the values it represented . . . determination and fair play, “sportsmanship”. The grand-child generation in our family will learn about Ted Williams, Yaz . . . and one Yankee. I’ll tell them that Jason Giambi was not only a good ball player, but an honest man. I hope I don’t have to tell them that we, as a culture, chose to “shoot the messenger”. I don’t need a reply. I just hope he is currently getting thousands of comments telling him the same thing, and I wanted to add mine.

    Sincerely,
    Ms Fran Nadolski

  36. bobby February 22nd, 2008 at 6:23 pm

    jason……we were at Legends field today Friday 2/22/09 and you promised my grandson your batting glove after you finished, so the kid had us stay at the fence until 2pm waiting for you…..to say he was disappointed is saying a mouth full, I can’t believe you have so many fans that the lost of one means nothing to you ….I think the child said it best when he told me “these player are so full of themselves that they don’t care about kids like me”
    An Unhappy fan

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