Jason Giambi almost got me arrested. No, I wasn't out partying with the former A's first baseman who once said that his lifestyle was to "party like a rock star and f%@! like a porn star."
No this was his first game back in Oakland after signing with the New York Yankees when I believed that the A's were going to keep him in the fold. I was sitting in the right field bleachers and there were quite a few Yankee fans around us. My daughter hadn't been born yet, so I was quite a bit more, well, vocal at games. I was ready to yell and scream about this player who had turned his back on the team that helped mold him into a superstar. Now I have a better perspective on how that all went down now, but I was emotional at the time and wasn't in the mood to forgive. I was there early and one of the first to boo the hell out of this turncoat.
I did just that. I stood. I booed. I screamed at Giambi as if he could really hear me being that far from home plate. The Yankee fans around me tried to drown us out. And at one point a Yankee fan in front of me stood up in the middle of the game and turned around to basically "cheer" at me. Well for some odd reason this set me off. I stood up and started screaming at the guy to sit down in more colorful language. I threatened to put my foot up his, um, buttocks. Thankfully the guy backed down otherwise I would've probably thrown down at that point. Giambi had me that emotional.
Still, when my wife asked me today how I felt about Giambi returning, I didn't feel that same anger towards Giambi. I told her that I still think he's a great hitter who can help out the A's. I thought he would give Holliday some very nice protection and was a nice addition to an offense that desperately needs some help in any way, shape or form.
Yet my anger that I thought was once burning with all the eternal fires of hell had just either completely gone out or was more like a brief explosion that only had enough fuel to last a short time.
Maybe I'm excited about the possibility that Giambi can help recreate that early 2000's atmosphere at the Coliseum again. I mean this is the guy who hit a game-winning home run off Mike Stanton to win a game against the Yankees at the first game I ever attended at the Coliseum. He, in many ways, ignited my passion for the A's deeper than it ever had been. I guess that's why I reacted so personally when he took the money and ran.
I don't expect him to be that MVP-caliber player any more. I just want him and Holliday and hopefully a healthy Chavez to help score some runs.
I know this has been asked already, but have you forgiven Giambi? Will you welcome him back? I think I'm over it. I just want him to help the team win and I'll react accordingly. If he performs, I'll forget all about it. If he doesn't, well, then I think he'll still be a Yankee to me.