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.

John Jaso hits for the cycle

PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 27:  John Jaso #28 of the Pittsburgh Pirates looks on during the game against the Seattle Mariners during inter-league play on July 27, 2016 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
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Pirates first baseman John Jaso hit for the cycle on Wednesday night against the Cubs, becoming the first Pirate to do so since Daryl Ward against the Cardinals on May 26, 2004. It’s the third cycle of the 2016 season, as Jaso joins Freddie Freeman and Rajai Davis.

Jaso singled in the second inning for his first hit. He smashed a three-run homer in the fourth inning to break a 1-1 tie. He hit an RBI double in the fifth to push the Cubs’ lead to 5-1. Then, in the seventh, Jaso hit an RBI triple to make it an 8-4 game.

Coming into Wednesday night, Jaso was hitting an adequate .259/.342/.384 with six home runs and 35 RBI in 416 plate appearances. He’s been limited mostly to right-handed pitching as the Pirates have used David Freese and Josh Bell at the position as well.

Freddie Freeman extends hitting streak to 30 games

ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 17: Freddie Freeman #5 of the Atlanta Braves waits to bat in the fifth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on September 17, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
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Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman extended his hitting streak to 30 games with a single to center field in the bottom of the sixth inning of Wednesday night’s win against the Phillies. Prior to that at-bat, he had grounded out, been hit by a pitch, and walked.

Freeman entered Wednesday night batting .382/.477/.673 with 11 doubles, seven home runs, 27 RBI, and 24 runs scored over his past 29 games. Though his numbers are lacking compared to National League MVP Award favorite Kris Bryant, Freeman will get some top-five votes. On the season, he entered Wednesday hitting .307/.404/.576 with 33 home runs, 88 RBI, and 99 runs scored in 673 plate appearances.

Freeman’s 30-game hitting streak is the longest such streak in the majors this season, according to ESPN Stats & Info. He has also reached base safely in 46 consecutive games.