Posted By Jeff Fletcher on February 6, 2009 4:44 pm
This ought to be of interest to fans on both sides of the Bay.
I was reading on mlb.com the other day about how the A’s are looking to Jason Giambi to be a positive influence on the pitchers, which prompted me to ask Barry Zito about that. Zito didn’t really address the issue of Giambi providing strategic advice to pitchers, but it was interesting nonetheless.
“G was a awesome. He was a leader on the field and off the field. He was always available to talk. I think the big thing about G that really helped me be a leader of the A’s after guys like Hudson and Mulder left is he really emrabaced different personalities in the clubhouse.
“He let the young guys be young. The old school in baseball is ‘Young guys shut up and old guys run this place. Till you have time you are worthless and can’t say anything.’
“My take on it is different. We have so many individual characters on this team, guys like Hinshaw, and Romo and you get some veterans who say ‘Tell these guys to shut up. They dont know what the hell they are talking about.’
“I’m like ‘These guys are great.’ Sergio Romo is off the wall. He’s a total weirdo and he does things out of line sometimes. I’m the first one to tell him when he’s doing stuff out of line, but you have to embrace these personalities.
“That’s what makes a team great, when guys are relaxed and can be themselves. Giambi is basically where I got all that from.”
So what do we take from all, besides the fact Sergio Romo is apparently a weirdo? I think it will be interesting to see if Zito can help change the Giants clubhouse culture. The Giants have always been the veteran-laden business-like team, nothing like the A’s.
Maybe that’s one of the reasons the A’s young players have succeeded more than the Giants young players.
I suppose it might also be that the A’s had better players and they actually got a chance to play.