Question of the day: Which MLB player most seems to have overstayed their time in the bigs and should get out? [Updated]
Reporters from around the Tribune family tackle the question of the day, then you get a chance to chime in and tell them why they are wrong.
Dom Amore, Hartford Courant
A few years ago, when the steroids controversy was raging around Jason Giambi, and he was struggling to get a hit for the Yankees, he declared he was not a quitter and he would not be driven from the game he loved. Giambi showed his mettle. He admitted his mistakes, apologized, and worked his way back for a few respectable years to finish his Yankee contract.
Point proven, it's time for Giambi to move on. Unable to play first base with any dexterity, and unable to land a contract as a full-time DH in the AL, where teams are looking for more versatility, he is hanging on with the Rockies as a pinch-hitter, a latter-day Rusty Staub who, by the way, hates being cited for his pinch-hitting records but wants to be remembered as an outstanding fulltime player. Giambi, as of May 6, was 2-for-23, an .095 average, in that role. Of course, he walked eight times, so even now his on-base percentage is a decent .375.
But is this the way for a one-time MVP to keep playing? Trot up to the plate to hit for the pitcher, draw a walk, then trot off for a pinch-runner?
Updated at 11:53 a.m.
Kevin Baxter, Los Angeles Times
You know how you always hear players say they aren't going to retire until someone pulls the uniform off them? Well perhaps it's time someone obliged Omar Vizquel.
An 11-time Gold Glove winner who was once among the most magical fielders of all time Vizquel, at 43, is just a shadow of his former self. And the White Sox are his third team in as many seasons, which should have given him a hint. And if that didn't, maybe the .115 batting average he took into the weekend will.
Someone might want to ask Trevor Hoffman to change back into street clothes too. The all-time saves leader Hoffman, 42, was an all-star last season. But he entered the weekend having blown as many save chances, four, as he's converted. And his 11.70 ERA is among the highest in the majors.
Hoffman is a cinch for the Hall of Fame while Vizquel's candidancy will certainly get a ton of support as well. They should both retire gracefully so we can remember how great they were and not how long they hung on past their primes.
Photo: Jason Giambi. Credit: Ed Andrieski / Associated Press.