Slap Hitter: End of an Error, A's Release Giambi


Back in 1997, the Oakland A's trying to recover from two consecutive years of bad baseball decided to resurrect the past, and signed Jose Canseco to make a glorious return. Canseco couldn't bat his weight and the Athletics sullied their past and drifted towards last place. Who says you can't turn back the clock?

This season looks a lot like the one a dozen years ago. The Green and Gold reached back (and strained themselves and got put on the disabled list) to an age where Jason Giambi roamed the earth. Today, months before the sands of the season ran out, Giambi's time in Oakland has.

No real reason to gripe. It's not like he cost a lot of money, it's not like he was blocking somebody awesome's progress. It's simply a little sad. The magic ran out before Giambi could slip on the jersey one more time. The A's thought maybe they could contend, so they bought a bunch of antiques on the cheap, and that strategy clearly has come up bust. Which is not to say that there was a better option. The Pennington-Everidge-River Cat connection will stagger through the late summer with a bit more energy and a little less to lose, meaning the A's will finish that way as well.

I hope we go old school and host a Day for Jason G. Bring him out to the field, give him some joke gifts, a car and a big hand from the crowd. The sucky 2009 team is not Giambi's fault, but as they say in baseball somebody's got to "wear" it. Sorry that he had to go out this way (still it saves him a road-trip to Kansas City), but here's hoping that his post-baseball life keeps him closer to Oakland than Canseco's did for him. And that two years after our craptastic '97 campaign, the A's were right back in the thick of things. With a young first baseman named Jason Giambi.— Kibby Kleiman