In the Rockpile: Old guys rule
With a collective age of 77, Todd Helton and Jason Giambi have given their careers and the Rockies a much needed pick-me-up this season. Last season, Helton hit .256 with 8 HRs and 37 RBIs. Now, almost two months into the 2011 campaign, he has hit .323, 6 HRs and 20 RBIs, while continuing to battle the back soreness that hindered his production last season. His resurgence has been attributed to changing his workout routine, resting his back and staying awesome.
Helton’s stat line is better than last season, and there are four months still left in the regular season. He is on pace to make last season look like a mere blemish on his stellar career — one that may only be marred in Hall of Fame voting because he played at Coors Field, where altitude gets entirely too much credit for home runs (but I could harp on that whole line of thinking another time).
Giambi has bounced around in his day, admitted to early steroid use and landed himself in Colorado. During his time here since late ’09, he has managed to endear himself to plenty of fans by being the oldest (read “knowledgeable”) man on the roster and bringing his powerful, dangerous bat to the pinch hitter department. Thursday was quite the night for Giambi, filling in at first base for Helton. Gray Beard the Ballpark Pirate knocked in all seven runs in the Rockies 7-1 victory. Giambi ruined Philly fans’ night and helped starting pitcher Jhoulys Chacin improve to 5-2 on the season by hitting home runs in his first three at-bats — a three-run shot in the first, a two-run blast in the third and another two-run drive in the fifth.
Those 77 years of experience are paying dividends on the scoreboard, which at the end of the day, is all that matters. Problem with Giambi or Helton’s age? Refer yourself to the scoreboard. These two aren’t coming to the plate assisted by walkers or wheel chairs. They are in the twilight of their respective careers and swinging some serious, Viagra-less wood to put the naysayers to bed.