Who's on first?
I'm sorry for that headline, but it is written that
every baseball writer must, at least once in their
careers, use that Abbott & Costello chestnut to
introduce a story about a muddled first base picture.
Jason Giambi showed up in the Yankees camp this week
looking a lot more like Mark Belanger than the
professional wrestler he used to resemble. If you've
never seen a picture of the slick-fielding, former
Oriole, his nickname was "Blade" and he didn't get for
his shaving prowess. Belanger was extremely thin, a
situation he exacerbated with smoking.
The Yankees are a team that attacks weaknesses --
either perceived or real -- with a vengeance. In this
case, the perceived weakness is Giambi's knee and how
many games it will permit him to play in the field.
First they signed Tony Clark to play the role of
Giambi's caddy. Then they brought in Travis Lee, a
player who has made his reputation at first as a
fielder. While Clark has the recent pedigree of a
spare-part type player, Lee has been a regular for the
past four years. This makes him something of a threat
to Giambi's playing time and has the incumbent
defending his place on the field.