Jason Giambi

Jason Gilbert Giambi (/dʒiˈɑːmbi/; born January 8, 1971) is an American former professional baseball first baseman and designated hitter. In his Major League Baseball (MLB) career, which began in 1995, Giambi played for the Oakland Athletics, New York Yankees, Colorado Rockies, and Cleveland Indians. He is the older brother of former MLB player Jeremy Giambi.

Giambi was the American League (AL) MVP in 2000 while with the Athletics, and is a five-time All-Star, who led the AL in walks four times; in on-base percentage three times; and in doubles and slugging percentage once each; he also won the Silver Slugger Award twice.

Giambi has publicly apologized for using performance-enhancing drugs during his career.[1]

Jason Giambi
Jason Giambi (2429833416)
Giambi with the New York Yankees
First baseman / Designated hitter
Born: January 8, 1971 (age 48)
West Covina, California
Batted: Left Threw: Right
MLB debut
May 8, 1995, for the Oakland Athletics
Last MLB appearance
September 27, 2014, for the Cleveland Indians
MLB statistics
Batting average.277
Hits2,010
Home runs440
Runs batted in1,441
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Early years

Giambi attended Sacred Heart Private Catholic School in Covina, California. He then attended South Hills High School in his native West Covina, where he was a three-sport standout. Giambi was on the baseball team, whose roster also included his brother Jeremy and three other future Major Leaguers and teammates: infielder Shawn Wooten, pitchers Aaron Small and Cory Lidle. He batted .386 during his three years of varsity baseball, leading his team to the state finals as a senior. He was voted MVP in both baseball and basketball. In American football, he was an All-League quarterback. Giambi was selected in the 43rd round (1,118th overall) by the Milwaukee Brewers during the 1989 MLB draft. He did not sign and went on to attend college.

Pre-major leagues

Giambi attended Long Beach State University, where he played college baseball for the Long Beach State 49ers baseball team. Giambi played collegiate summer baseball for the Alaska Goldpanners, in the Alaska Baseball League.

The Oakland Athletics selected Giambi in the second round of the 1992 Major League Baseball draft. He started his career that year with the short season single A Northwest League's Southern Oregon A's, where he hit .317 in 13 games. He was a member of the fourth place United States national baseball team at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.

The Athletics invited Giambi to spring training in 1993.[2] He then spent the 1993 season playing for the Modesto A's, the Oakland Athletics' single A farm team. Giambi also played for the Huntsville Stars in the Southern League.

Major league career

Oakland Athletics (1995–2001)

Giambi made his major league debut with the Athletics in 1995.

Originally used occasionally as an outfielder, third baseman, and first baseman, Giambi assumed the full-time first base job upon the trade of Mark McGwire to the St. Louis Cardinals in 1997.

Giambi led the team in 1998 with 27 home runs, 110 runs batted ins and a .295 batting average.

In 1999, Giambi hit .315 with 33 homers, 105 walks (2nd in the league), and 123 RBIs (6th). He came in 8th in MLB Most Valuable Player Award voting.

In the 2000 season, he led the league in on-base percentage (.476; leading the majors) and walks (137; a personal high and still the most walks in the AL since 1991). He hit .333 (7th in the league) with 43 homers (2nd; a career high), 137 RBIs (4th; a career high), 108 runs (10th), and a .647 slugging percentage (3rd). Giambi narrowly won the American League Most Valuable Player Award over Frank Thomas.

His 2001 season was nearly identical. He led the league for the second year in a row in both on-base percentage (.477; a career best, and still the highest OBP in the AL since 1995) and walks (129). He also led the league in slugging percentage (.660; a career best), doubles (47; a career high), times on base (320), and extra base hits (87). He batted .342 (2nd in the American League; a career high) with 38 homers (7th), 109 runs (6th), and 120 RBIs (8th). He was second in the league in intentional walks (24), the only time in his career that he was in the top 10 in this category. He finished a close second in MVP voting to Ichiro Suzuki, and won the Silver Slugger Award.

Both years, he led the Athletics to the post-season, both times losing in the American League Division Series to the New York Yankees in five games.

New York Yankees (2002–08)

Jason G
Giambi, as a member of the New York Yankees, during spring training in 2007

On December 13, 2001, Giambi signed a 7-year $120-million deal with the New York Yankees. In line with Yankee team rules, Giambi cut his long hair and shaved his goatee.[3] The signing upset many Athletics fans, who felt betrayed by the departure of their team leader. Giambi became an object of the A's fans' wrath whenever New York visited Oakland. During a game on May 14, 2005, he was hit with a beer thrown by an unruly fan on his way back to the dugout.[4]

Giambi continued slugging with New York in 2002. He led the league for the 2nd consecutive year in times on base (300), had 109 walks (2nd), was 3rd in the league with both a .435 obp and 15 HBP, had 41 home runs (4th), 120 runs (4th; a career high), and a .598 slugging percentage (4th), knocked in 122 runs (5th), and batted .314 (6th). He came in 5th in AL MVP voting, and again won the Silver Slugger Award. He also hit an "ultimate grand slam"—a walk-off grand slam against the Twins in a rain-soaked extra-inning game, that won that game 13–12.

Although his average dipped to .250 in 2003, he led the league in walks (129) for the 3rd time in his career and in HBP (21) and percent of plate appearances that were walks (19.4%),[5] maintained an extremely high on-base percentage (.412; 3rd in the league), hit 41 home runs (4th), and had 107 RBIs (8th). He was also second in the major leagues in fly ball percentage (52.0%).[6] He remained one of the most patient hitters in the majors. At the same time, he also led the league in strikeouts (140), the only season that he has even been in the top 10 in the league in that category.

On July 30, 2004, test results confirmed that Giambi had a benign tumor, which placed him on the disabled list. He was treated for the tumor, and returned to the team and played in a game on September 14. That year, Giambi was voted in as the starting first baseman in the 2004 MLB All-Star Game despite finishing the year with a .208 batting average and just 12 home runs.

Towards the middle of the 2005 season, Giambi saw a resurgence in his career. On July 31, he hit his 300th career home run off of Esteban Yan of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. This was his 14th home run of the month, tying Mickey Mantle for the Yankee record for home runs in July.[7] Giambi ended the 2005 season leading the major leagues in walk percentage (20.6%)[8] and leading the American League in walks for the 4th time in his career (109), and in OBP for the 3rd time in his career (.440, as well as in fly ball percentage (47.7%);[9] second in MLB to Todd Helton), and had an OPS of .975, placing him 5th in the AL. He hit 32 homers (10th in the league), the 7th time in his career in which he has hit 30 or more, and was 4th in HBP (19) and at-bats per home run (13.0). Giambi was named the AL Comeback Player of the Year.

In 2006, Giambi was named the American League Player of the Month for April, hitting .344 with 9 home runs and driving in 27 runs. However, he was left off the 2006 American League All-Star roster. He finished the season leading the majors in walk percentage (19.8%)[10] and leading the league in % Pitches Taken (64.4), 2nd in walks (110), hbp (16), and pitches seen per PA (4.37), 5th in at bats per home run (12.1), 6th in on-base percentage (.416), 7th in home runs (37) and slugging percentage (.558), 8th in intentional walks (12), and 9th in RBIs (113), despite playing in only 139 games (half of them at DH, and half at 1B) for the 2nd year in a row. He performed the unusual feat of having as many RBIs as hits, and for the 3rd time in his career had more walks than strikeouts.

Giambi's numbers were down precipitously in the 2007 season due to an injury, in which he hit just .236 with 14 home runs and 39 RBIs. He played in just 83 games, 53 of which as a designated hitter. Giambi got off to a horrible start in the 2008 season, hitting below .200 for more than a month. However, by June he had turned his season around and become one of the team's most productive players.

On September 3, 2008, Giambi walked into a bathroom door in his hotel room while in Florida before playing against the Tampa Bay Rays. The accident caused him to split his eyelid open but he played through the injury later that night and went one for four with one RBI, helping the Yankees win game 2 of the series.[11]

On September 21, 2008, Giambi recorded the final hit in Yankee Stadium, when he drove in Brett Gardner with an RBI single.

Giambi ended the season with a home run every 14.3 at-bats, beating out Alex Rodriguez to lead the team by a small margin. He was also one of only three players to hit a home run while pinch hitting in 2008, and the only one to do it twice.[12] However, on November 4, 2008, the Yankees declined their option on Giambi for the 2009 season making him a free agent.[13]

Jason Giambi (2009)
Giambi during his tenure with the Oakland Athletics in 2009 spring training

Second stint with the Athletics (2009)

On January 6, 2009, Giambi agreed to sign with the Oakland Athletics.[14] He officially re-joined the A's the next day, and was given his old No. 16 jersey.[15] Giambi hit his first home run since returning to the Athletics on April 25, 2009.[16]

On May 23, 2009, Giambi hit his 400th career home run in an 8–7 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks. He was placed on the disabled list on July 20. At the time he had the lowest batting average in the majors, and 4th-lowest slugging percentage in the American League. On August 7, 2009, he was released by the A's.[17]

Colorado Rockies (2009–2012)

Looking for a veteran bat to help their playoff push, the Rockies agreed to a deal with Giambi on August 23, 2009. He was assigned to their AAA affiliate, the Colorado Springs Sky Sox. Giambi chose to wear the number 23 for his jersey number. His first RBI with the Rockies came in the form of a bases loaded walk in his first plate appearance on September 1, 2009,[18] after being promoted to the club upon roster expansion earlier that day. That year, he had many clutch hits which kept the Rockies in contention for the National League Wild Card. He quickly became a fan favorite in Colorado.[19]

On January 23, 2010, Giambi reached an agreement to return to the Colorado Rockies. On September 12 Giambi hit a walk-off home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks, extending the winning streak for the Rockies to 10 games.

DSC03027 Jason Giambi
Giambi with the Colorado Rockies in 2011

The Colorado Rockies announced on January 17, 2011 a deal to put Giambi in the team's minor league organization with a spring training invite for the 2011 season. Giambi made the 2011 Opening Day roster out of spring training.[20]

On May 19, 2011, against the Philadelphia Phillies, Giambi hit three home runs in one game, the first such game for him of his career. The three home runs came in his first three at-bats. Giambi is also the second oldest player to accomplish the feat; at age 41, Stan Musial was the oldest player to hit three home runs in one game on July 8, 1962.[21]

Giambi became a free agent after the 2012 season and was a finalist for the Rockies major league managerial opening, which eventually went to Walt Weiss. Giambi was offered the position of Colorado's hitting coach but turned it down.[22]

Cleveland Indians (2013–14)

The Cleveland Indians signed Giambi to a minor league contract on February 9, 2013.[23] Giambi made the Indians major league roster following spring training.[24] On July 29, 2013, Giambi became the oldest player to hit a walk-off home run.[25] He broke his own record for oldest player to hit a walk-off home run in a season saving win for the Indians against the White Sox on September 24, 2013.[26]

Giambi was re-signed by the Indians on October 31, 2013 to a one-year minor league deal. The deal includes an invitation to Spring training. Giambi was hit by an Edwin Jackson pitch on March 7, 2014. This resulted in a broken rib, and Giambi missed the first 18 games of the season.[27] He was activated on April 21.[28]

On August 2, 2014 Giambi gave up his 25 jersey number to Jim Thome to have it unofficially retired by the Indians, Giambi switched his jersey number to 72 that day. On the jersey that he gave to Thome, Giambi put down a message to Thome saying " Jim, It was an honor to be the last person to wear your uniform number in Cleveland Indians history! – Jason Giambi" It was kept a secret from the fans, the players, Thome himself and his family, happening after Thome signed the 1-day contract and threw out the 1st pitch.

On February 16, 2015, Giambi announced his retirement.[29]

Awards

  • 1999 Oakland Athletics Player of the Year
  • 2000 Oakland Athletics Player of the Year
  • 2000 AL Most Valuable Player
  • 2000 Hutch Award
  • 2001 Oakland Athletics Player of the Year
  • 2001 Baseball America 1st-Team Major League All-Star 1B
  • 2001 AL Silver Slugger Award (1B)
  • 2002 Home Run Derby Winner
  • 2002 Baseball America 2nd-Team Major League All-Star 1B
  • 2002 AL Silver Slugger Award (1B)
  • 2005 AL Comeback Player of the Year

BALCO scandal

Late in 2003, Giambi was named by FBI officers investigating the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative (BALCO) as being one of the baseball players believed to have received anabolic steroids from trainer Greg Anderson.[30]

In December 2004, the San Francisco Chronicle reported it had seen Giambi's 2003 grand jury testimony in the BALCO investigation. The newspaper said that in his testimony, Giambi admitted to using several different steroids during the off-seasons from 2001 to 2003, and injecting himself with human growth hormone during the 2003 season.[31] In a press conference prior to the 2005 season, Giambi apologized publicly to the media and his fans, though he did not specifically state what for. The lawyer who illegally leaked the testimony later pleaded guilty, and was sentenced to 2 and a half years in prison.[32]

Giambi apologized again on May 16, 2007, this time specifically for using steroids, and urged others in the sport to do the same.[33] "I was wrong for using that stuff", he told USA Today. "What we should have done a long time ago was stand up—players, ownership, everybody—and said, 'We made a mistake.'" When asked why he used steroids, Giambi responded: "Maybe one day I'll talk about it, but not now." Giambi did speak with George J. Mitchell, after being forced to do so by Bud Selig. Subsequently, in December 2007, the Mitchell Report included Giambi along with his brother Jeremy Giambi, who also admitted to using steroids during his career.[34]

The prosecution in the Barry Bonds perjury case indicated they intended to call both Jason and Jeremy Giambi to testify against Bonds in his March 2009 trial.[35]

Personal life

Giambi married Kristian on February 2, 2002. His wife is the designer and owner of a lingerie and loungewear company called Brulee. Giambi is one of the owners of Casa Cielo (also owned by Scott Deskins of SCC Development in Austin, Texas) in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. It is an 18,000-square-foot (1,700 m2) home on top of the Pedregal sign. He has a brother, former major-leaguer Jeremy Giambi, and a sister named Julie. He makes his home in Henderson, Nevada.

Video game covers

Giambi has appeared as the featured athlete on the cover of several video games throughout his career.

Year Game Title
2001 Triple Play Baseball
2002 World Series Baseball (xbox)
2003 World Series Baseball 2K3
2004 ESPN Major League Baseball
2006 MLB Slugfest

Giambi has also been featured as a playable character in Backyard Baseball 2001 as well as Backyard Baseball 2003.

See also

References

  1. ^ Thompson, Teri (May 18, 2007). "Giambi admits he took steroids". Daily News. New York.
  2. ^ "February baseball triggers memories of Jason Giambi's first spring training, which he spent in silence". cleveland.com. Retrieved February 16, 2015.
  3. ^ Curry, Jack (December 14, 2001). "Tearful Giambi Is Proud To Put On the Pinstripes". New York Times. p. S1.
  4. ^ King, John (May 16, 2005). "Fan who threw beer at Giambi was jailed". San Francisco Chronicle.
  5. ^ "Major League Leaderboards » 2003 » Batters » Advanced Statistics | FanGraphs Baseball". Fangraphs.com. Retrieved September 14, 2011.
  6. ^ "Major League Leaderboards » 2003 » Batters » Batted Ball Statistics | FanGraphs Baseball". Fangraphs.com. Retrieved September 14, 2011.
  7. ^ "Giambi hits two homers, reaches 300 for career". Associated Press. July 31, 2005. Retrieved October 9, 2006.
  8. ^ "Major League Leaderboards » 2005 » Batters » Advanced Statistics | FanGraphs Baseball". Fangraphs.com. Retrieved September 14, 2011.
  9. ^ "Major League Leaderboards » 2005 » Batters » Batted Ball Statistics | FanGraphs Baseball". Fangraphs.com. Retrieved September 14, 2011.
  10. ^ "Major League Leaderboards » 2006 » Batters » Advanced Statistics | FanGraphs Baseball". Fangraphs.com. Retrieved September 14, 2011.
  11. ^ King, George A. (September 4, 2008). "Jason Giambi Loses Bout With Bathroom Door". New York Post. Retrieved September 14, 2011.
  12. ^ Chuck, Bill. 100 random things about the Red Sox, Rays, and Yankees, The Boston Globe. Published April 2, 2009. Retrieved May 2, 2009.
  13. ^ Bryan Hoch. "The Official Site of The New York Yankees: News: Yankees Spring Training quick hits". Newyork.yankees.mlb.com. Retrieved September 14, 2011.
  14. ^ "A's re-acquire slugger". Msn.foxsports.com. January 6, 2009. Retrieved September 14, 2011.
  15. ^ Mychael Urban. "Giambi signing is official". Mlb.mlb.com. Retrieved September 14, 2011.
  16. ^ "Giambi rejoins Oakland, gets $5.25 million deal". Sports.yahoo.com. April 20, 2011. Retrieved September 14, 2011.
  17. ^ Sporting, The (August 7, 2009). "The drumbeat:Giambi Released". SFGate. Retrieved September 14, 2011.
  18. ^ "Jason Giambi reportedly agrees to deal with Colorado Rockies". ESPN. August 23, 2009. Retrieved September 14, 2011.
  19. ^ Stephens, Bob (September 1, 2009). "Giambi, Skid Done In The Springs". The Gazette.
  20. ^ Harding, Thomas (January 17, 2011). "Rockies bring back Giambi with Minors deal". MLB.com. Retrieved January 17, 2011.
  21. ^ "Giambi, 40 and Scuffling, Hits 3 Homers Against the Phillies". New York Times. May 19, 2011. Retrieved May 19, 2011.
  22. ^ "Giambi, Rockies Manager". New York Daily News.
  23. ^ Bastian, Jordan (February 9, 2013). "Tribe signs veteran slugger Giambi to Minors deal". MLB.com. Archived from the original on February 13, 2013. Retrieved February 10, 2013.
  24. ^ "Scott Kazmir named Indians' fifth starter, Jason Giambi makes the team". Retrieved May 13, 2013.
  25. ^ "Chicago White Sox vs. Cleveland Indians – Recap – July 29, 2013 – ESPN Chicago". ESPN.com. Retrieved February 16, 2015.
  26. ^ "Roll Tribe! Jason Giambi's walk-off homer sends Cleveland Indians fans into joyful frenzy on social media". cleveland.com. Retrieved February 16, 2015.
  27. ^ Nowak, Joey (March 13, 2014). "Giambi has broken rib, likely to miss opener". MLB.con. Retrieved March 13, 2014.
  28. ^ "Indians activate DH Jason Giambi". USAToday.com. April 21, 2014. Retrieved April 21, 2014.
  29. ^ Adams, Steve (February 16, 2015). "Jason Giambi Retires". mlbtraderumors.com. Retrieved February 16, 2015.
  30. ^ "Admissions before BALCO grand jury detailed". ESPN. December 2, 2004. Retrieved October 9, 2006.
  31. ^ Fainaru-Wada, Mark; Williams, Lance (December 2, 2004). "Giambi admitted taking steroids". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved May 25, 2007.
  32. ^ "ESPN – BALCO leaker Ellerman gets 2½ years in prison – MLB". ESPN. July 12, 2007. Retrieved September 14, 2011.
  33. ^ "Giambi says MLB should own up to presence of drugs". ESPN. Retrieved May 18, 2007.
  34. ^ "Report: Jeremy Giambi admits he used steroids". USA Today. March 13, 2005. Retrieved May 25, 2007.
  35. ^ Federal Judge Unseals Evidence Against Bonds Yahoo! Sports, February 3, 2009

External links

Preceded by
Glenallen Hill
Manny Ramírez
Torii Hunter
Edgar Martínez
Travis Hafner
David Ortiz
American League Player of the Month
September 2000
May 2001
May 2002
June 2003
July 2005
April 2006
Succeeded by
Manny Ramírez
Mike Sweeney
Paul Konerko
Magglio Ordóñez
Alex Rodriguez
Alex Rodriguez
1995 Oakland Athletics season

The Oakland Athletics' 1995 season was the team's 28th in Oakland, California. It was also the 95th season in franchise history. The team finished fourth in the American League West with a record of 67-77.

The Athletics, for a third consecutive year, found themselves mired in mediocrity. As had been the case in both 1993 and 1994, an average-to-poor offense (headlined by Mark McGwire, Rickey Henderson, and Rubén Sierra) was sabotaged by one of the league's worst pitching staffs. For a third consecutive season, no Athletics starter posted an earned run average (ERA) of less than 4.50; only one such starter, Todd Stottlemyre, managed to record double-digit wins in the strike-shortened campaign.

The Athletics, despite their weak pitching, managed to contend in the first half of the season. On July 1, a win over the division-leading California Angels brought them within 1.5 games of first place; it also ran their record to a surprising 34-28. As had been the case in 1994, the A's followed their surprising start with a prolonged slump; between July 2 and August 15, the team went only 13-28. The collapse, along with an Angels surge (the Angels went 30-11 over the same span) left the A's 17.5 games out of first place. As had also been the case in 1994, Oakland mounted a dramatic comeback; an Angels collapse, combined with a surge of their own, allowed them to pull within five games of first place on September 20. The September 20th victory would be their last, as Oakland lost each of the regular season's final nine games. They finished the campaign eleven games behind the AL West champion Seattle Mariners.

The Athletics' on-field mediocrity, however, contained a few bright spots. Mark McGwire clubbed 39 home runs in a mere 104 games; he would hit at least 50 in each of the four subsequent seasons. The 1995 season also saw the debut of future superstar Jason Giambi. Giambi, in his first major league season, batted .256 with six home runs in 54 games. Lastly, the season was Tony La Russa's last as Oakland's manager. He, along with most of the Athletics' assistant coaches, would join the St. Louis Cardinals in 1996.

1997 Oakland Athletics season

The Oakland Athletics' 1997 season was the team's 30th in Oakland, California. It was also the 97th season in franchise history. The team finished fourth in the American League West with a record of 65-97.

The Athletics, coming off a surprising (if still mediocre) 78-84 campaign, hoped to reach the playoffs for the first time since 1992. With this in mind, the team traded for slugger Jose Canseco. Canseco, who had played for the Athletics from 1985 to 1992, was reunited with fellow superstar (and fellow "Bash Brother") Mark McGwire. In addition to McGwire and Canseco, Oakland's impressive collection of power hitters included Jason Giambi, Gerónimo Berroa, and Matt Stairs.

Little was done, however, to shore up the Athletics' abysmal 1996 pitching staff. Ariel Prieto, owner of a 4.41 career ERA (Earned Run Average), was named the Opening Day starter; a succession of poorly regarded players filled out the rest of the starting rotation and bullpen. While optimism remained high for the team's offense, great concern remained for its pitching staff.

In the end, Oakland's offense and pitching both fared terribly. For the second consecutive year, no Athletics pitcher won ten or more games; even worse, no starter won more than six. None of the team's top four starters (Ariel Prieto, Steve Karsay, Mike Oquist, and Dave Telgheder) finished the season with an ERA of less than 5.00; the Athletics, as a team, finished with an earned run average of 5.48 (easily the MLB's worst). All told, the A's allowed a season total of 946 runs. This remains the worst such figure in Oakland history.

More puzzling was the fate of the offense. Oakland, as expected, remained one of the league's best power-hitting teams. The Athletics' sluggers hit a total of 197 home runs (third-most in the American League). Oakland's home runs failed to generate much offense, however, as a low team batting average negated most of the team's other advantages. Oakland scored a total of 764 runs in 1997 (the 11th highest total in the American League).

These awful performances quickly removed the A's from contention. On May 31, they were already nine games out of first place; their position steadily worsened throughout the summer. In light of this, General Manager Sandy Alderson traded Mark McGwire (who, at the time, was on pace to break Roger Maris' single-season home run record) to the St. Louis Cardinals for T.J. Matthews, Blake Stein, and Eric Ludwick. McGwire would finish the season with 58 home runs (four shy of breaking the record). The trade was a disaster on the Athletics' end, as none of the three players received in the trade remained on the team by 2000. The A's ultimately finished twenty-five games behind the first-place Seattle Mariners. Their 65-97 finish (the club's worst since 1979) led to the removal of Sandy Alderson as General Manager on October 17; he was replaced by Billy Beane. Manager Art Howe, however, was retained for the 1998 season.

The 1997 season would ultimately prove to be the Athletics' nadir. The continued rise of Jason Giambi, the debuts of Ben Grieve and Miguel Tejada, the acquisition of Tim Hudson in the 1997 MLB draft, and the ascension of Billy Beane to the position of general manager paved the way for a lengthy period of success from 1999 onwards.

1998 Oakland Athletics season

The Oakland Athletics' 1998 season saw the A's finish with a record of 74 wins and 88 losses. The campaign was the first of the Billy Beane era. While the Athletics finished a distant fourth in the AL West, they improved upon the prior year's dismal output of 65-97.

The strong play of Jason Giambi, Matt Stairs and Kenny Rogers highlighted an otherwise forgettable campaign. Rogers' performance was particularly impressive; in arguably the finest season of his career, he won 16 games and posted a 3.17 earned run average (both were the best full-season marks by an Athletics starter since 1992). Additionally, the 1998 season marked Rickey Henderson's fourth (and final) stint with the Athletics. Henderson, at the age of 39, stole a total 66 bases; this total lead the league in that category. Lastly, rookie Ben Grieve collected a Rookie of the Year (ROY) award for his solid debut season. The award was the Athletics' first since Walt Weiss received one in 1988.

The Athletics posted a winning record in 1999. The organization, under Beane, would not post another losing season until 2007.

2000 Oakland Athletics season

The Oakland Athletics' 2000 season was the team's 33rd in Oakland, California. It was also the 100th season in franchise history. The team finished first in the American League West with a record of 91-70.

The A's, in winning the division, snapped an eight-year postseason drought. The division championship was also the first of the so-called "Moneyball" era. Over the next six seasons, the Athletics would reach the postseason a total of four additional times.

The season saw the debuts of eventual ace starters Barry Zito and Mark Mulder. These two pitchers, along with Tim Hudson (who had debuted one year prior), would comprise the top of Oakland's rotation (known popularly as the "Big Three") until the end of the 2004 season. Of the three, Hudson fared the best in 2000; he won twenty games (the most in the American League) and reached the All-Star Game in his first full season as a starter. For his efforts, Hudson finished second in that year's American League Cy Young Award voting.

The Athletics also boasted a strong offense. The team scored 947 runs (an Oakland record) over the course of the season; this figure was the third-highest in the American League. The offense was led by Jason Giambi, who won the American League MVP Award at the end of the season. The team collectively hit 239 home runs in 2000 (also an Oakland record); in total, nine different Athletics hit at least ten home runs.

The Athletics fought the Seattle Mariners in the standings for most of the season. In the end, the Athletics narrowly prevailed; they finished only half a game ahead of the 91-71 Mariners (who won the AL Wild Card). The Athletics then played the New York Yankees in the ALDS. They would lose the best-of-five series three games to two.

2001 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 2001 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 72nd playing of the midsummer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 10, 2001 at Safeco Field in Seattle, Washington, home of the Seattle Mariners of the American League. The American League defeated the National League, 4–1. This was Cal Ripken, Jr.'s 19th and final All-Star Game. It was also the final All-Star Game for San Diego Padres legendary right fielder Tony Gwynn.

2001 Oakland Athletics season

The Oakland Athletics' 2001 season was the team's 34th in Oakland, California, and the 101st season in franchise history. The team finished second in the American League West with a record of 102-60.

The Athletics entered the 2001 season with high expectations. Much of the excitement stemmed from the team's trio of promising young starting pitchers (Barry Zito, Mark Mulder, and Tim Hudson); after a strong showing in 2000, many expected the Athletics' rotation to rank among the American League's best in 2001. The signing of additional starter Cory Lidle during the 2000-01 offseason helped solidify the rotation's back-end. On offense, the Athletics were loaded; sluggers Miguel Tejada, Eric Chavez, and reigning American League MVP Jason Giambi comprised the core of a powerful Oakland attack. The addition of Johnny Damon, acquired in a three-way trade for Ben Grieve, promised to add a new dimension to the Athletics' offense. A strong bullpen (led by Chad Bradford, Jim Mecir, and Jason Isringhausen) rounded out Oakland's roster.

These high expectations quickly evaporated. The Athletics stumbled out of the gate (winning just two of their first dozen games); while their play nominally improved over the first half of the season, they failed to build upon the momentum of their division-winning 2000 campaign. The rival Seattle Mariners, in stark contrast, raced to a historic 52-14 start. As expected, the offense performed well; Oakland was instead hamstrung by unexpectedly terrible starting pitching. At the season's midpoint, the A's boasted a sub-.500 record (39-42); they trailed the division-leading Mariners by some 21 games.

The Athletics responded with arguably the most dominant second half in modern MLB history. Over their final 81 regular season games, the A's went 63-18 (a record since the league switched to a 162-game schedule); this included 29 wins in their final 33 games. The Athletics' maligned rotation returned to form; over their final games, Zito, Mulder, Hudson, and Lidle went a combined 48-10. On July 25, the Athletics acquired slugger Jermaine Dye from the Kansas City Royals for prospects; this move further energized the already-surging squad. The Athletics ultimately weren't able to catch up with Seattle (which won an AL-record 116 games), but their remarkable run allowed them to clinch the AL's Wild Card. The Athletics' 102 wins remain the most by a Wild Card team in MLB history.

The Athletics faced the New York Yankees (the three-time defending World Series champions) in the ALDS. Oakland took the first two games, but unraveled after a heartbreaking 1-0 loss in Game 3, in which Jeremy Giambi was infamously thrown out at the plate after a relay throw was flipped by Derek Jeter to Jorge Posada; they would lose the series to the Yankees in five games. At the end of the season, Oakland would lose Jason Giambi, Johnny Damon, and Jason Isringhausen to free agency; this would set the stage for the events portrayed in Michael Lewis' bestselling book Moneyball (and the film by the same name).

2002 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 2002 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 73rd playing of the midsummer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues that make up Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 9, 2002 at Miller Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the home of the Milwaukee Brewers of the NL. The game controversially ended with a 7–7 tie due to both teams running out of available pitchers. Beginning the next year, home field advantage in the World Series would be awarded to the winning league to prevent ties (this rule would stay until 2016).

No player was awarded the Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award due to the game ending in a tie. The roster selection for the 2002 game marked the inaugural All-Star Final Vote competition (then known as "The All-Star 30th Man" competition). Johnny Damon and Andruw Jones represented the American and National Leagues as a result of this contest.

2003 American League Championship Series

The 2003 American League Championship Series (ALCS) was played between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees from October 8 to 16, 2003. The Yankees won the series four games to three to advance to the World Series, where they lost in six games to the National League champion Florida Marlins.

2003 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 2003 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 74th midsummer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues constituting Major League Baseball, and celebrated the 70th anniversary of the inaugural All-Star Game played in Chicago, Illinois in 1933.

The game was held on July 15, 2003 at U.S. Cellular Field, the home of the Chicago White Sox of the American League. The game resulted in the American League defeating the National League 7–6, thus awarding an AL team (which was eventually the New York Yankees) home-field advantage in the 2003 World Series. This game was the first All-Star Game to award home-field advantage in the World Series to the winning league, a rule that stemmed from a controversial 7–7 tie in the previous year's edition. In the days leading up to the game, Fox advertised it with the tagline: "This time it counts." Subsequent editions altered the slogan to "This one counts" to reflect the new method of determining the World Series' home-field advantage; that arrangement ended with the 2016 edition, where the AL team (which became the Cleveland Indians) also won home-field advantage; the AL would win the next six years, as well as the last four. The winning league had a 9-5 record in the corresponding year's World Series, with the AL winning in six years, and the NL in eight.

This All-Star Game marked the seventh All-Star appearance for the Naval Station Great Lakes color guard from Waukegan, Illinois, who this year was joined by police officers from the Kane County Sheriff's Department who presented the Canadian and American flags in the outfield. Both the five-man color guard and the sheriff's department officers accompanied Michael Bublé, who sang O Canada, and Vanessa Carlton, who sang The Star-Spangled Banner. Bublé's performance of "O Canada" was not televised until after the game in the Chicago area, while Carlton's performance was followed by fireworks that shot off the U.S. Cellular Field scoreboard.

2003 New York Yankees season

The New York Yankees' 2003 season was the 101st season for the Yankees. The team finished with a record of 101-61 finishing 6 games ahead of the Boston Red Sox. New York was managed by Joe Torre. The Yankees played at Yankee Stadium. In the playoffs, they defeated the Red Sox in 7 games in the ALCS, winning the pennant on Aaron Boone's dramatic 11th-inning home run. The Yankees advanced to the World Series, losing in a dramatic 6 game series to the Florida Marlins. It would be their second World Series loss in three years and last appearance in a World Series until 2009.

American Mustache Institute

The American Mustache Institute (AMI) is an advocacy organization and registered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit originally based in St. Louis, Missouri. In 2013, it moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.When founded in 1965, AMI was the only organization in the world working towards facial hair advocacy. AMI’s full-time staff supports more than 700 global chapters which advocate for greater acceptance of mustaches in the workplace and throughout modern culture.

BALCO scandal

The BALCO scandal was a scandal involving the use of banned, performance-enhancing substances by professional athletes. The Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative (BALCO) was a San Francisco Bay Area business which supplied anabolic steroids to professional athletes. The incident surrounds a 2002 US Federal government investigation of the laboratory.

Corey Miller (tattoo artist)

Corey Miller (born 1967) is a tattoo artist and television personality. He began tattooing at the age of 15. He is the owner of a tattoo shop in Upland, California called Six Feet Under. He was one of the core tattoo artists on the reality television show LA Ink.Miller specializes in black and gray portraits and dragon art. This tattoo form is greatly influenced by traditional and classic styles. He is also known for his freehand work and his talent for drawing directly on the skin without any stencils. His clients have included celebrities, such as James Hetfield from the band Metallica, Jason Giambi, former Dream Theater member Mike Portnoy and Jesse James. Aside from creating art, Miller also plays the drums for his band, PowerFlex 5. Ludwig Drums released a new drum set in 2009 with Miller's flash designs.

Home Run Derby

The Home Run Derby is an annual home run hitting contest in Major League Baseball (MLB) customarily held the day before the MLB All-Star Game, which places the contest on a Monday in July. Since the inaugural derby in 1985, the event has seen several rule changes, evolving from a short outs-based competition, to multiple rounds, and eventually a bracket-style timed event.

Jeremy Giambi

Jeremy Dean Giambi (; born September 30, 1974) is an American former professional baseball outfielder and first baseman, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Kansas City Royals, Oakland Athletics, Philadelphia Phillies, and Boston Red Sox, from 1998 through 2003. Giambi also played in Minor League Baseball (MiLB) in the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago White Sox organizations. He is the younger brother of former MLB player Jason Giambi.

Juiced (book)

Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits & How Baseball Got Big is a 2005 book by Jose Canseco and his personal account of steroid usage in Major League Baseball. The book is autobiographical, and it focuses on Canseco's days as a major leaguer, his marriages, his daughter, and off-field incidents including his barroom brawl in 2001. The book deals primarily with anabolic steroids, drawing upon the personal experiences of Canseco. He takes personal credit for introducing steroids to baseball and names former teammates Mark McGwire, Juan González, Rafael Palmeiro, Iván Rodríguez, and Jason Giambi as fellow steroid users. He also believes he was blackballed by baseball when Bud Selig decided that the league needed to be cleaned up.

One of Juiced's central precepts is that steroid use is not in and of itself a bad thing, as long as the person is being monitored by a physician and the dosages are small. Canseco believes that steroids cannot only improve the game of baseball but also improve and lengthen lives and that more research needs to be done on the topic. Canseco claims to discredit many of the myths regarding steroids, asserting that they do not break down a person's body if used correctly and can actually help a person recover quickly from injuries. During the A&E Network's one-hour documentary, Jose Canseco: The Last Shot, Canseco said he "regrets mentioning players [as steroid users]. I never realized this was going to blow up and hurt so many people."

Oakland Athletics award winners and league leaders

This is a list of award winners and league leaders for the Oakland Athletics professional baseball franchise.

The team was first known as the Philadelphia Athletics from 1901 to 1954 and then as the Kansas City Athletics from 1955 to 1967.

Sporting News Comeback Player of the Year Award

The Sporting News Comeback Player of the Year Award is the oldest of three annual awards in Major League Baseball given to one player in each league who has reemerged as a star in that season. It was established in 1965. The winner in each league is selected by the TSN editorial staff.

In 2005, Major League Baseball officially sponsored its own Comeback Player of the Year Award for the first time. TSN and MLB honored the same players in 2005—Ken Griffey, Jr. in the National League and Jason Giambi in the American League. The Players Choice Awards, awarded by the Major League Baseball Players Association, also began a Comeback Player honor in 1992.

Listed below are the players honored with the TSN award by year, name, team and league.

The cream

"The cream" is a testosterone-based ointment that is used in conjunction with anabolic steroids such as tetrahydrogestrinone (THG, also known as "the clear") in order to mask doping in professional athletes.

The drug was made public when the United States Anti-Doping Agency was contacted by an anonymous athletics coach, later identified as Trevor Graham, who claimed that several top athletes were using THG as an illegal performance enhancing drug. After an investigation, it was revealed that many top baseball athletes were connected with THG; the list included stars such as Jason Giambi, who would also confess to using human growth hormone and testosterone, Gary Sheffield, who admitted using the cream and the clear, albeit unknowingly.

When questioned about the substance, athletes said that the two substances were identified only as "the cream" and "the clear". It was later determined that the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative, which supplied THG, had provided it in conjunction with "the cream" in order to increase the overall steroid content of the body. It had been distributed to several athletes by trainer Greg Anderson.

Home Run Derby champions

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