Earlier this afternoon, Jason Giambi held a press conference in the Sky Sox dugout to address his rehab assignment and his future in baseball.
On how he feels physically:
I feel great. You know I played last night and had to go first to third and had to run out a ground ball. I’m happy with where I was last night. I really hadn’t played in about 16 or 17 days. They wanted to hold me back because it was my left quad so I didn’t hit much or anything.
On the trade of Ubaldo Jimenez to the Cleveland Indians:
I think the (front office) guys know the game. It was a phenomenal move by Dan O’Dowd to get those four young guys they got because we don’t have the opportunity to buy talent like the Yankees. You always have to think about winning now while keeping an eye on the future. With all the young talent they have up there and coming up in the minors, that’s how you win in the big leagues these days. Great pitching stops great hitting.
On the mood in the Rockies clubhouse and the chances of making a run this year:
The one thing I keep telling the guys is to keep their heads up. We haven’t had that one stretch this year where we’ve played Rockies baseball, putting up a ton of runs, getting great pitching…We haven’t put it together yet. I’m still hopeful that we’ll be able to hit one of those stretches to allow us to get back into the race. But it’s been tough. We made a great trade to get Mark Ellis and when that happened I really thought we were going to take off. He came up there and made an immediate impact. We were starting to swing the bats really well and then all of a sudden, Cargo (Carlos Gonzalez) goes down. We’ve really had very few times this year where we’ve had our whole ‘A’ team out there all at one time. An injury here or there has really hindered us. The one consistent presence we’ve had this year is Toddy (Todd Helton). He’s been so consistent the whole year and it’s been fun to watch him play so hopefully we can get this going and make a run at it.
On his role as a veteran leader and mentor to Sky Sox players:
I talked to the kids and try to help them out. I truly think that’s how you give back to the game. You pass it along to the next generation. We’d all like to play this game for the rest of our lives but unfortunately father time catches up to all of us. I’ve been lucky enough that I’m 40 years old and still playing and hopefully still playing for a few more years. I really do enjoy being a mentor to these young kids and hopefully some day they’ll stand up and say, ‘I got to this point because somebody helped me out’, just like I say about Mark McGuire, Ricky Henderson and all the guys I played with who made a huge impact on me.
On the possibility that he’ll be traded to a contender before the end of the season:
That’s not really up to me. That’s up to (GM Dan O’Dowd) and our ownership. They’ve been gracious enough to let me know that some teams have been interested in me and I offered my two cents and said ‘if you guys have to trade me could you trade me to a team that has a chance to win’. I feel very grateful and honored that they’ve even brought that up to me. A lot of times in your career you don’t have that say. I feel special that they would even bring me in on that. But I love it in Denver. I see my self ending my career as a Rockie. I love to put the work in but I still haven’t accomplished what I wanted to do when I got here and that’s win a world series.
On his role with the Rockies and how long he sees himself playing professional baseball:
Jim Tracy has done such a phenomenal job of using me in the right situations. Giving me playing time. I think I could play this role for a few more years. My body is holding up pretty good and my swing is great so I’d like to do that for a few more years.
On his time with the Sky Sox in 2009:
I had a great time in Colorado Springs. I had a chance to play with some of the young guys who are in the Big Leagues now. It’s been fun that I’ve made that connection with a lot of these young kids. I think that’s always how you want to bridge the gap between the older players and the younger players so that they don’t feel intimidated and can lean on the veterans for advice. It was great to come here and get my swing going before I joined the Rockies in ’09. I’m lockering next to Cole Garner and a few other guys and they ask me a lot of questions and I’m honored to be able to impart any wisdom that I can.