Thursday, May 01, 2008

Curse of the Great Giambi by Mark Hughson

It goes without saying that anyone who reads or writes for Zisk enjoys the game of baseball. And while I feel disappointed when my team loses, and get a thrill out of the big games in October, baseball is something I don’t take personally. You don’t like the A’s? I’m ok with that. Or take Barry Bonds, he might be a jerk but he never personally disrespected me so I got no real beef with him. Overall I’d say my relationship with baseball is positive and healthy except for this one guy Jason Giambi—he’s a douchebag.

The year was 2001 and the season had just finished. Giambi was named MVP in 2000, and in the ’01 season he continued his All-Star/Silver Slugger performance. The guy was in his prime and a hot commodity. After the 2001 season he was a free agent. Oakland’s paltry budget couldn’t hang on to him (a running theme we’ve seen persist with Miguel Tejada and Barry Zito). So his contract was up, and he was moving to a new team. I was ok with that, being a realist after all. He signed with the Yankees, and I was fine with that too. When asked by the press why he chose to sign with the Yankees, Giambi said, “I want to play for a contender, I want to play for a competitive team.” What a fucking prick! The A’s had been duking it out in the toughest division in all of baseball for most of the late ’90s. They were gaining momentum, finally constructing both a solid lineup and that Hudson-Mulder-Zito starting rotation, and in the last two years before Giambi left, won the division or the wild card spot and played against other playoff teams with twice (or in the case of the Yankees, thrice) their team salary. Although I was a couple thousand miles away just sitting in front of the TV, I felt emotionally confused, disrespected, and deeply insulted on behalf on myself, the Athletics organization, and the rest of their fans. I didn’t know it at the time, perhaps it was a subconscious act, but I had just cursed the Yankees. I never before had taken the game to heart but when I heard Giambi spew that crap I just shook my head and said, “Fuck that guy.” For as long as Giambi wears pinstripes, the Yanks will never win a World Series. You may think this is just a gag, but in baseball, stats hold weight, and I’ll let the numbers do the talking from now on.

The Oakland Athletics
1999 – finished 2nd in division
2000 – West Division title
2001 – Wild Card winner

Giambi leaves Oakland A’s
2002 – West Division title
2003 – West Division title
2004 – finished 2nd in division
2005 – finished 2nd in division
2006 – West Division title
2007 – finished 10 games below .500

The New York Yankees

1999 – World Series winner
2000 – World Series winner
2001 – AL Pennant winner

Giambi signs with Yankees
2002 – Lost ALDS to Angels
2003 – Lost WS to Marlins
2004 – Lost ALCS to Red Sox
2005 – Lost ALDS to Angels
2006 – Lost ALDS to Tigers
2007 – Lost ALDS to Indians

Upstate NY native Mark Hughson has been writing about baseball and music for almost a dozen years. His worthless baseball card collection consisting of Topps cards from 1987-1994 is up for sale - contact

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

you are awesome!!! i loathe giambi he is the biggest piece of shit i have ever seen wear a baseball uniform. he's full of himself, he's not that good, he's on steroids (still and always has been) and i hope he's put out to pasture and never heard from again