Indians DH Jason Giambi had been sitting on 1,999 career hits since August 31 and finally joined the elusive 2,000 hit club in the ninth inning this afternoon against Mets reliever LaTroy Hawkins. With Giambi leading off the ninth inning, Hawkins tossed a 94 MPH fastball belt-high but inside. Giambi fought it off and blooped it down the left field line for a single.
Giambi, now 42 years old, is the 245th player in baseball history in the 2,000 hit club. He is one of 19 active players currently with membership.
On the season, Giambi has a .650 OPS, following up last year’s .675 OPS when he was with the Rockies.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have hired Ben Cherington as the team’s new general manager. They do so after the general manager meetings ended, but better late than never.
Cherington served as GM of the Boston Red Sox for four years, winning the World Series in 2013, but resigned during the 2015 season after Dave Dombrowski was named Boston’s new president of baseball operations. Which was a defacto demotionn for Cherington who, until then, had the final say in baseball decisions. Dombrowski, of course, was fired late in the season this year. Cherington went on to work for the Toronto Blue Jays as a vice president, but was seen as biding his time for another GM position. Now he has one.
Cherington takes over in Pittsburgh for executive vice president and general manager Neal Huntington, who was fired after a 12 years at the helm. Also fired was team president Frank Coonelly. Travis Williams replaced Coonelly recently. While the Pirates experienced a few years of contention under Huntington and Coonelly, they have slid out of contention in recent years as the club has traded away promising players for little return, all while cutting payroll. There’s a very big rebuilding job ahead of Cherington.
The first move he’ll have to make: hire a manager, as the team still hasn’t replaced Clint Hurdle since he was dismissed in the final weekend of the regular season.