In the post steroid era, numbers from the plate have gone down across the board dramatically. As I discussed in yesterday’s post (https://sportskraze.wordpress.com/2011/05/19/the-revival/#more-5903), we are in the 2nd “Year of the Pitcher.” And that is fine. The steroid era and really the post steroid era have been a trying time for the MLB. Many fans lost trust in the players. Many people lost trust in the integrity of the sport. And in all honesty, popularity has gone down since, though I would love to see it go back up in the near future. I mean baseball is the “American Pastime.” But I digress.
It is always nice to look back. Baseball is as historically rich of a sport as you will find. Anybody remember what happened in the year 2000 in the MLB? Let me refresh your memory. In the 96th edition of the World Series, the New York Yankees won an astounding 3rd consecutive World Series, over their crosstown rival, the New York Mets. No this was not the late 1940s or early 1950s, when the Yankees were winning multiple championships in a row with their eyes closed, and generally doing it against crosstown rivals (Brooklyn Dodgers, New York Giants). In addition, do you remember who won the MVP in the year 2000?
The NL MVP was won by Jeff Kent. Kent had some big time years during the course of his 17 year career. None bigger than the year 2000 though, where he brought in his first and only MVP award. Do you know who won the MVP in the American League? None other than a man who embodies the steroid era. A man whose career was really defined by the juicing years. The man who people use to call the Big Giambino. Jason Giambi.
Giambi has not been the 2000 MVP caliber player for some time now. In the 40-year-old’s 17 year career, many great things have been accomplished. Sadly, though the man who has hit 419 home runs in his illustrious career has not hit more than 13 in a season since 2008. He has not been a shell of his former self for some time now. Yesterday though, it seemed like we traveled back in time.
The 2nd place Colorado Rockies were taking on the team that sports the best record in the National League, the Philadelphia Phillies, in a showdown at Citizen Banks Park. The Big Giambino, batting in the 5 hole, looked like the Jason of the early 2000s. All the sudden the stroke was back. The power was back. And so was the Giambi smile. You have to tip your hat to the 40 year old. It was refreshing to see a guy who once dominated this game, having a day at the ball park. 3 home runs to go with 7 RBIs. This is a guy who on the year is batting below the Mendoza Line at .194, and had a total of 1 HR and 4 RBIs heading into yesterday’s game in Philly.
It is never easy to watch stars careers come to a close. Giambi’s career is about over. Yesterday could be the last time we see Jason play like the Big Giambino again. It was refreshing. It felt as if we traveled back 10 years in time.
It is the year 2011 right?
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.