You win this round, Giambi

Jason Giambi, shown here in his younger days, before the bloated contracts, steroid scandals and bizarre diseases came to define him.

I like to think that I have a sense of humor. For example, after last night’s Red Sox game, I had to just quietly chuckle. How else could I react to Jason Giambi slamming the Sox one more time, seemingly from beyond the grave?

All the elements were there. The Rockies were winless in games this season where they trailed past the seventh inning. Jonathan Papelbon, after 1.3 blank innings from Daniel Bard, had just surrendered the tying home run to Ian Stewart. Ryan Spilborghs moved Clint Barmes to second on a sacrifice, and there it was.

When I saw Giambi on deck, I immediately assumed the worst.

I had sort of forgotten about him, to be honest, and certainly forgotten that he’d re-signed with the Rockies in the offseason. He strode to the plate with a sub-.200 batting average and two home runs, and it was as though none of it mattered.

Here’s a guy who, after winning the 2000 MVP with the Oakland A’s, signed with the New York Yankees for 2002 and came into the Red Sox’ consciousness. And, even through steroid accusations (and half-apologies) and a series of strange ailments (staph infections in both eyes in 2003, a benign tumor and an intestinal parasite in 2004, walking into a door in 2008 and splitting his eyelid, etc.), he had a knack for knocking the Red Sox around. Examples:

  • In the infamous Grady Little-Pedro game of the 2003 ALCS, Giambi hit two home runs.
  • He homered off of former Sox prospect Craig Hanson in the 10th inning of a 2006 game to put the Yankees ahead in Fenway Park. Jorge Posada added another three batters later.
  • He kick-started an 8th inning rally off of Hideki Okajima in 2007 with another home run, just his 14th of the year by that Sept. 14.
  • In 2008, he dribbled a single past Josh Beckett in the third inning for the only run of the Yankees’ 1-0 win.
  • And later that year, he drove in the winning runs in the bottom of the ninth off of Papelbon.

This is just a smattering of his work against the Red Sox. I didn’t even try to look for what he might’ve done with Oakland that could be escaping memory. I just know that there’s definitely a history of Giambi beating the Sox, albeit one that I thought was long buried.

So, when Giambi beat the Sox again, I threw up my hands and giggled. Sometimes, you just have to laugh.

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