Quote of the Day: 'My ego is not in the way at all'

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Jason Giambi, on signing a minor-league contract with the Rockies in the hopes of nabbing a September bench role:
It’s cool. My ego is not in the way at all. I enjoy playing baseball. I’m a baseball player. I enjoy coming out here and playing with the guys, playing a kid’s game. They asked me if I minded going down to get some at bats and I said no, absolutely not. I want to help you guys win. There is no small role when a team’s in the pennant race. I’ve been in a lot of them over my career and it’s exciting to watch those guys play. They’ve got a great ball club and a great clubhouse. I know a lot of the guys. It’ll be fun to be a part of the ball club.
Aside from a couple of brief rehab assignments Giambi hasn’t been in the minors since 1995, when he batted .342 in 55 games at Triple-A as a 24-year-old. Fourteen years and 1,933 big-league games later he’s obviously near the end of the line, but for all his horrible defense, high strikeout totals, and low batting averages Giambi still has plenty of patience and power, and those are two skills that can be extremely useful off the bench.

2017 Preview: The National League West

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the National League West.

The Giants had the best record in all of baseball at the All-Star Break and the Dodgers lost the best pitcher in the world in Clayton Kershaw for a big chunk of the season. Yet, somehow, L.A. won the NL West by four games. The biggest culprit was the Giants’ suspect bullpen, which they put some real money toward fixing this winter. Is it enough? Or is a a Dodgers team with a healthy Kershaw just too talented for San Francisco to handle?

Below them is an intriguing Rockies team, though probably not a truly good Rockies team. The Dbacks have a lot of assorted talent but are nonetheless in reshuffle mode following a miserable 2016 campaign. The Padres, meanwhile, are in full-fledged rebuilding mode, but do possess some of the best minor league talent in the game.

Here are our previews of the 2017 NL West:

Los Angeles Dodgers
San Francisco Giants
Colorado Rockies
Arizona Diamondbacks
San Diego Padres

2017 Preview: The American League West

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League West

There’s not a lot of separation between the top three teams in this division. Indeed, it would not be a surprise for either the Astros, Rangers or Mariners to end the year on top. Part of that is because none of these contenders are perfect, with all three facing some big challenges in putting together a strong rotation.

Meanwhile, the best baseball player in the universe toils in Anaheim, where he’ll most likely have to content himself to playing spoiler. Up the coast in Oakland . . . um, green is pretty?

Our 2017 AL West Previews:

Houston Astros
Seattle Mariners
Texas Rangers
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Oakland Athletics