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Yankees Notebook: Jason Giambi talks managerial aspirations

Jason Giambi has always had a loose and fun-loving personality, including during the seven seasons he spent playing first base for the Yankees.

Jason Giambi is still tuning up for his post-career gig as a manager. Credit: Getty Images Jason Giambi is still tuning up for his post-career gig as a manager.
Credit: Getty Images

Jason Giambi has always had a loose and fun-loving personality, including during the seven seasons he spent playing first base for the Yankees.

If he ever becomes a manager after retiring from a playing career that began 18 years ago with Oakland, there’s a good chance the team he manages will have the same characteristics in the clubhouse.

“We’d have fun,” Giambi said. “We’d have a loose clubhouse. I know there’s enough pressure and I’ve had some incredible managers in Joe Torre, Tito [Terry Francona] and Tony LaRussa. I played for some greats of the game, so I understand the style and that kind of stuff.

“It would be fun. We’d have a good ballclub. We’d be able to swing the bat, that’s for sure.”

In all seriousness though, Giambi does have some aspirations to manage and take what he learned playing for Tony LaRussa, Torre and Francona and applying it whenever he gets to make a decision in that capacity.

Giambi almost received that chance during the offseason. After spending the past 3 1/2 seasons with Colorado, Giambi heard there was an opening for the job and when he found out experience was not a requirement, he decided to express his interest.

“The whole process is different,” Giambi said. “It’s a different feel over there. You got to worry about different things. As a player you go and do the grind, you just go and play. Over there you got to look out for your guys, you got to fix certain situations to play guys and stuff.

“It’s kind of fun to think along those lines of how to build a team or what I want my team to play like, the identity and who I want them to be.”

The position went to former shortstop Walt Weiss, who was given a one-year contract. Giambi was offered to become the hitting coach but he decided to keep playing and joined forces with Francona in Cleveland after playing so many years against him.

In fact, Giambi is so highly regarded by many for his demeanor, that Francona even says he has leaned on him at times.

“I have never been around somebody like Giambi before,” Francona said. “Everybody talks about how good he is for the young kids. ... He is good for me. I’ve leaned on him; I think everybody has leaned on him. And then when he steps in the batter's box, he still has the ability to change the game. But even when he is not in the batter's box he can change the game. That’s a pretty special person.”

Overbay gets start in right

Lyle Overbay exhaled and stood at his locker on Monday night while discussing his first career start in right field .

“I survived,” Overbay said.

Overbay will have a chance to survive again as he started in right field Tuesday and will likely do it again.

On Monday, Overbay revealed how a conversation with third-base coach and outfield coordinator Rob Thomson during some idle time in batting practice led to the move.

Before Tuesday’s game, manager Joe Girardi also discussed Thomson’s assessment of the newest Yankee outfielder.

“Arm strength wasn’t a concern of mine,” Girardi said. “You look at routes. I talked to Topper [Thomson] about it. Topper thought he did a pretty good job in the little bit that he’d seen him do it.”

Setback for Nunez

Eduardo Nunez is one of four players the Yankees have used at shortstop this season. It doesn’t seem like he will be returning anytime soon from his strained left oblique.

The Yankees said Nunez tried to swing a bat in Tampa Tuesday but he couldn’t quite do it.

“We thought that he was ready to go again and he took swings today and I guess, he’s not ready to go again,” Girardi said. “He did a bunch of drills the other day and said, ‘I feel great, let’s try it.’ It didn’t work.”

Nunez has missed 28 games with the injury initially suffered on May 6 and for now he will simply rest. He will also undergo an MRI for precautionary reasons.

Follow Yankees beat writer Larry Fleisher on Twitter @LarryFleisher.

 
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