Originally written on Sliding Into Home  |  Last updated 4/9/12
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Jason Giambi has not been a New York Yankee since 2008 & ever since his last appearance; the masses have only been saying one thing about him.  Bust.  That could not be further from the truth.  Did he live up to the contract that was awarded to him based on his previous three seasons in Oakland beforehand?  Definitely not.  The Yankees thought that they were getting a high average offensive threat that was going to hit close to 40 bombs a year. That version of Giambi was alive & well during the first year of his contract but that was the only year we would see it.  Having said that, it doesn’t make the guy a bust by any stretch of the imagination when you look at his offensive output for the rest of his Yankee career.  In 2004 and 2007, the guy wasn’t healthy and the numbers represent that.  He was no longer a high average hitter but Batting Average, while important, is not the be all and end all for batting statistics.  Personally, I am more interested in a player’s On-Base Percentage.  The lowest OBP that Giambi put up during his healthy Yankee seasons was in 2008, when his was .373.  To go with that, he was sporting an .876 OPS.  Power-wise, that may not be what the Yankees signed up for on December 13, 2001.  However, that is still an immensely effective Major League hitter, and that is in the final year of his contract.  During the course of the contract, he would put up OBP’s of .435, .412, .342 (injury shortened year), .440, .413, .356 (injury shortened year), and .373.  Except for a respectable .271 batting average in 2005 and his monster year in 2002, the average was always relatively low.  When you look at the On-Base Percentages and his power output throughout his Yankee days, you cannot possibly call him a bust.  The inevitable comparisons have already begun and those are between the Giambino and Mark Teixeira.  Frustrated fans over the past three years have seen Mark go from all-around offensive threat to a more one dimensional homerun hitter.  They have said things like “Great, he’s turning into Giambi.”  Now, Teixeira has plenty of time to return to his 2009 form but comparing him to Giambi as if that is a bad thing, is an insult to Giambi.  In 2009, Tex put up an On-Base Percentage of .383, which is fantastic and pretty much on par with what he has done throughout his career.  But we’re not comparing their careers as a whole; we are talking about what they have done as members of the New York Yankees.  Now, thus far .383 is Tex’s peak (for now).  By comparison, Giambi’s peak OBP with the Yankees is .440.  I mentioned what his lowest OBP was earlier in the article, and that is merely ten points lower than Teixeira’s highest.  Yet, people are calling Giambi a bust?  If he’s a bust, what does that say about Mark Teixeira?  Before you begin with the baseless insults that make absolutely no sense, I am not calling Teixeira (I hate spelling this name) a bust.  I am simply putting out there that if this trend continues, those screaming about Tex “turning into Giambi” offensively would only be so lucky.  Those people that look only at Batting Average need to check the rest of Giambi’s baseball card because he was an offensive beast as a Yankee.  Worth the salary?  Nope, but then, who is?  Bust? Not even remotely close…now I want all of you to repeat that until it finally sinks in.

Twitter: @trevwolff
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