Yanks looking to attack weakness

The Yankees' acquisition of Travis Lee might represent a threat to Jason Giambi's playing time.

Updated: February 26, 2004, 8:44 AM ET
By Jim Baker | MLB Insider
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.

Jason Giambi
Jason Giambi is not looking forward to playing DH.
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.
Jim Baker is an author at Baseball Prospectus and a frequent contributor to Page 2. You can e-mail Jim at