Emily and I caught a good portion of the Yankees exhibition game against the Tribe last night. In his third at bat, Jason Giambi laced a long fly ball to deep left field. It sliced behind the left fielder and bounced on the warning track. Meanwhile, Giambi who was running hard out of the box, was storming around second, headed for third...I started yelling as he beat the throw for a triple. I turned to Em and said, "You'd better store that in your memory bank, cause we are not likely to see that again this year...or maybe ever." Giambi scored on Ruben Sierra's single through the left side, and was greeted by smiles all around from the Yankee bench. Rich Lederer--who wrote a fine piece on the lateDick "Monster" Radatz this past weekend--was watching too, 3,000 miles away from the Bronx, in Long Beach, California. He thinks the Giambi's feat was significant for a couple of reasons, belly laughs aside:
1. Giambi has only had eight three baggers in his entire career and not a one since 2002.
2. Jason actually ran hard and with enthusiasm, and he ran better than I can recall since joining the Yankees. His knees don't appear to be bothering him like they have in the past.
Giambi's hair is also longer than I can remember it being since he joined the team. I know it won't ever get as long as it was in Oakland, but as far as I'm concerned, the longer the better.
Kevin Brown is not the talkative sort, but he remembers the pain. When I asked the right- hander last night to compare how his back feels now as to how it felt during his Game 7 collapse in last year's ALCS, Brown took a long time to answer. He let out a tiny laugh and said, "Probably not having a car battery hooked up to my back and hip and not having a steel rod driven through the left side. I mean other than that, not much different at all."
Imagine what kind of laughs could be had at dinner with Johnson, Brown and Mussina?