“His leadership, his presence, for me not to use that, I would be an idiot. I’ve leaned on him so much. He’s not making enough money, I tell him that all the time. He’s the best influence on players I’ve ever seen — ever, and I’ve been around some pretty good ones.”
--Terry Francona, manager of the Cleveland Indians, talking about the value that Jason Giambi provides to his team.
Terry Francona has been a player, coach, minor league manager, and a major league manager for 13 years. In all that time, Francona said last week, he had never met a person like Jason Giambi.
“I kind of call myself the ‘Protector.' I protect what he cares about, which is playing the game hard, playing the game right, making sure we’re doing what we’re supposed to be doing. Tito and I are one in the same. I care about my teammates like he cares about his team."
“Every single guy — from the Latin players to the white guys to the black guys — I’m tight with everybody. I get to care about them with no ulterior motives. I just want to see them succeed. I’ve been through a lot of ups and downs, and I want them to turn into the best players they can, because I truly believe that’s the gift you give back to this game.”
--Jason Giambi.Who knew that Jason Giambi would eventually grow up? Does your team have a Jason Giambi?
Excerpts taken from nytimes.com (9/22/2013).