Jason Giambi returns to Rockies on a minor league contract

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After a season-and-a-half as a bench player in Colorado the assumption was that Jason Giambi would go elsewhere this offseason in search of more playing time, but today he re-signed with the Rockies on a minor-league contract.

Last winter Giambi got a guaranteed deal worth $1.75 million, but this time around he won’t have a 40-man roster spot heading into spring training. Between that and the lack of a role for him in Colorado playing behind another left-handed hitter in Todd Helton there was obviously very little interest in Giambi as a free agent.

Giambi still has excellent on-base skills, but most of his power has vanished at age 40 and he’s hit just .217 over the past two seasons. He received 222 plate appearances last year and unless Helton goes down with a significant injury similar playing time is likely for 2011. If he makes the team, of course.

Someone stole the bat from the Ken Griffey, Jr. statue at Safeco Field

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The Mariners unveiled a statue of Hall of Fame outfielder Ken Griffey, Jr. earlier this year at Safeco Field, featuring the slugger in his famous follow-through seen after each of his 630 career home runs. Chris Daniels of KING 5 News in Seattle reported on Tuesday evening that someone had stolen the bat from the statue.

Thankfully, the Seattle Police Department announced that the bat has been recovered and a suspect has been arrested. They expect to provide more details later. Daniels reports the Mariners have confirmed the news.

My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.