Sunday, May 07, 2006

Kepner on Giambi

Excellent article on Jason Giambi's approach at the plate. E.g.
He described a typical at-bat, choosing a situation in which Jeter is on first with one out, with Alex Rodriguez on deck:

What's this guy going to do?" Giambi said. "More than likely, he'll try to throw me an off-speed pitch I can hook into the hole and try to roll into a double play. If you're going to sit on changeup, make him throw it for a strike, get it up in the zone.

"Boom, first-pitch sinker, that's a ball, 1-0. Alex is hitting behind me, so more than likely he's going to throw me a 'get me over' curveball or changeup to try to get me to chase. So, 1-0, I can't hit that changeup down and away, you give it to him for a strike.

"More than likely, on 1-1, he's going to try to keep me from leaning over the plate and come inside with a fastball to try to back me off. Well, that's the one I've got to be ready to hit, because if he makes a mistake on the inner half, that's where I want it. That's the ball that I can lean on, and if I have to hit it through the shift or get it up in the air to right field, that's my pitch.

"But if he misses — a lot of times it's up and in — boom, you take it and now it's 2-1. Well, 9 times out of 10, he's going to go changeup down and away again, or he's going to throw me a hard sinker down and away and try to get me to roll into the shift."


Anonymous John Thullen said...

Baseball, unlike most other public venues in American life, provides lots of opportunity for redemption, which even to an agnostic like me is cause for tears to be jerked.

Giambi is redeemed. Off the stuff, sufficiently chastised, and he had the guts to say no to the demotion last year to the minors --- and then got his swing back.

I love watching the guy and the fact that redemption comes while wearing the pinstripes breaks me up.

Bonds could learn from Giambi, but so far Barry's body language -- the Bush(yeah,him)-league petulance when he fails at the plate early this year, etc, tells me he may get Aaron's record but not my heart.

Sweet swing, lousy guy.

10/5/06 17:18  
Blogger rilkefan said...

Yep, except for the pinstripes bit. What better place than Yankee Stadium to be redeemed? When Alex Rodriguez wins a ring and forever shuts up his critics, that will be great too.

I have a smidgen of sympathy for Bonds because of the race thing with his role models but I didn't need to see anything from this year to dislike him. Well, ok, that he juiced out of jealousy of McGwire and the whole racial angle there didn't help.

13/5/06 23:11  
Anonymous John Thullen said...

"wearing the pinstripes breaks me up"

Not in a negative way, but in a way too sentimental, good way. Me love Yankees.

The race thing with Bonds gives me some pause, too. Bonds is a ball player. Who do I want up for the 3-run homer? Bonds. With Pete Rose on base. He can be on base twice.

But we don't do lunch. Bob Gibson, Frank Robinson, Jason Giambi, David Eckstein, Rilkefan, Rilke, and I can do lunch. Mickey Mantle, the Zelda Fitzgerald/Flannery O'Conner character/the Natural/allrolled intoone will be the subject of conversation.

Plus my idea to have Mel Gibson write the screenplay for and direct "The Passion and Redemption of Mickey Mantle".

15/5/06 10:59  

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