Two Boston players, Gil Velazquez and George Kottaras, had the first hits of their careers in that long, sloppy game on Friday night. Velazquez had a single in the fourth inning, Kottaras had a double in the fifth.
On both occasions, The Big G made sure that the ball was tossed into the Boston dugout. He also congratulated both players when he had a chance. The Boston players were talking yesterday about how impressed they were with Giambi’s sportsmanship.
“He’s a guy that gets it,” Kottaras told The Boston Globe.
There is little chance that Giambi will be back with the Yankees next season. Some team will give him a two-year deal, maybe the Blue Jays or Mariners. The Yankees need to get younger and move on.
But they will miss Giambi on the field and off. He’s is a guy that gets it, as Kottaras said. It was the Big G who shamed his cheapskate teammates into giving the coaches and support staff bigger postseason shares a few years ago. He’s the guy who will take a rookie out for dinner and he signs autographs for kids every chance he gets.
In a lot of ways, he’s a throwback to guys like Mantle, Ford and Martin who knew how to be good players and have a good time.
The Yankees will no doubt field a strong lineup next season. But a .373 OBP, 32 homers and 96 RBI won’t be easy to replace. And forget replacing that personality.
I wish I could tell you some of the great lines Giambi has had over the years but I’d get fired in a minute. Suffice it to say, he’s one of the few people I’ve ever met who can use a certain word as a noun, adjective, adverb and verb, sometimes all in the same sentence.
Good luck to Jason. He has some ups and down in pinstripes but he was never boring.