MLB Spring Training - 2002 MLB Spring Training - 2002


Giambi feels like a rookie with Yankees

Posted: Monday February 18, 2002 6:08 PM
Updated: Tuesday February 19, 2002 6:05 PM

A fresh start
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Jason Giambi couldn't wait to try on Yankee pinstripes. Start
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TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Jason Giambi felt like a kid again.

The New York Yankees' key offseason acquisition arrived at Legends Field on Monday, and wasted little time meeting his new teammates.

"I feel like a rookie, meeting the new guys," Giambi said. "I couldn't wait to get down here and put on the pinstripes."

The former Oakland first baseman, who signed a seven-year, $120 million contract with the four-time defending AL champions, will take the field for the first time Tuesday.

He was owner George Steinbrenner's biggest offseason target.

"There is nothing better than to get the opportunity," Giambi said. "It's an exciting feeling to be the lead dog, and not chasing it.

"Mr. Steinbrenner wants to win every year. He's an incredible owner that gives us a chance to win every year."

Giambi walked through the locker room and talked with a number of players, including Roger Clemens and Derek Jeter.

"Today was the big day," Giambi said. "The opportunity to walk into the clubhouse with these guys. To have the opportunity to call these guys teammate."


Yankees manager Joe Torre does plan to talk with Giambi about not trying to do to much.

"We just want him to be himself," Torre said. "It's tough to take on more than you need to take on."

Giambi has been the past couple days. On Sunday he received the AL hitter of the year award from the Ted Williams Museum and Hitter Hall of Fame. Afterward, he was one of the people invited to spent time with Williams.

A frail Williams made a brief appearance at the ceremony in Citrus Hills, Fla.

"He was excited to see us," Giambi said. "It's tough when you see a hero like that. Here's the greatest hitter ever to play the game, and he's in rough shape."

Giambi has one final task before the Yankees first full squad workout Tuesday. A small patch of hair below his lower lip will be shaved off -- per team rules.

Related information
Stories's Spring Training 2002
SI's Tom Verducci: Burning Questions
Steinbrenner foresees another banner year
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