clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Jason Giambi isn't sure he's ready to retire yet

Whether he likes it or not, there's a good chance Jason Giambi's time as a Major League Baseball player is over.

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

"I've been playing this game since I was five years old. That's your whole life. If you look at it, it's 40 years of doing the same thing. It's been unbelievable. It's been fun. But, I still haven't made a decision about what I'm going to do yet. Who knows? ...Maybe somebody's looking for a broken-down 44-year-old by then to kind of take a few extra hacks."

That's what Jason Giambi told reporters Sunday morning, when asked about his future. It's clear he'd like to keep playing, but that decision may no longer be his to make. Giambi has fought against the clock better than the vast majority of ballplayers, but in human history, time remains undefeated.

Giambi signed with the Indians prior to the 2013 season after turning down an offer from the Colorado Rockies to serve as their hitting coach. He was brought in to serve as an instructor of sorts, but one who would still be on the roster, would still get to play. An unofficial player/coach, if you will. His clubhouse presence and impact on younger teammates have received rave reviews, and in 2013, while his overall numbers were poor, he had some huge hits, hits that made a big difference.

-af2df12ad21143c0_medium

2014 was a different story though. Injuries kept Giambi off the field for most of the year, but it's also reasonable to think he was kept off the field even after his injuries had healed, because giving him at bats wasn't likely to help the team. In just 70 plate appearances, Giambi hit .133/.257/.267. He hit a couple home runs, and became the 11th-oldest player ever to be intentionally walked, but his wRC+ of 48 was among the worst in baseball, and this year didn't include any especially magic moments.

Giambi's guidance and instruction has real value, but not enough for him to hold down a roster spot anymore, not on a team that has plans to contend anyway. Like it or not, unless he wants to go to an independent league and work as more of a gate attraction than ballplayer, it's time for Giambi to call it quits. 440 home runs, a .916 OPS, 5 All-Star appearances, the 2001 AL MVP.... He had a great career, but everything ends.

I can imagine how hard it would be to move on, to admit that what you've spent your whole life doing isn't something you can really do anymore, but Giambi doesn't seem like the kind of guy who has nothing else going in his life though. In the article linked to above, he discusses how much he's looking forward to spending the offseason with his family. I hope the next few months help him make peace with the fact that he isn't what he used to be. I would love for the Indians to have him back in some capacity next year, but not as a player.