Damon better, Giambi out in Seattle while waiting for orthotics Print
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Friday, 11 May 2007 15:56
MLB Headline News

 SEATTLE (AP) -Jason Giambi looked fine. And he walked fine - in flip flops and jeans.
``Good for now, until I put on the spikes. Then we'll see,'' the Yankees slugger said Friday afternoon before changing into his uniform in a side room of Safeco Field's visiting clubhouse.
A spur near his left heel kept Giambi out of the lineup for the third straight game.
New York manager Joe Torre said Giambi, a late scratch Friday night, will get custom-fitted orthotics for the problem. But they won't arrive for about a week.
Until then, it's a heavy tape job.
``That seems to help it along,'' Torre said.
Torre originally put Giambi in the lineup for the series opener Friday night. Then the manager said he was going to watch the left-handed batting Giambi take batting practice before deciding whether to rest him and save him for Saturday night, when the Mariners will start right-hander Miguel Batista. Jarrod Washburn, a lefty, started the series opener.
``Obviously, if there's a choice on one of the two days, I'd rather have him (Saturday),'' Torre said.
The news was more clear on leadoff man Johnny Damon and his right calf. Damon, who left a lopsided loss to Texas in the eighth inning Thursday because of a cramp, started for Giambi as the designated hitter.
He told Torre Friday that he was ``100 percent.'' But Thursday was the second time in a week that Damon missed game time because of a cramp in that calf. Melky Cabrera started in center field for Damon against Seattle.
Damon, whom Torre called ``an ignitor for us,'' has been bothered by calf cramps on and off since leaving the opening day game early with them. That turned out to be a mild calf strain. He's also had back pain that sent him to Florida for a few sessions with a chiropractor late last month.
``I think I'm getting past that now,'' Damon said before the game. ``I'd rather miss a few innings or a game now than have it blow up later,'' said Damon, who was 9-for-24 on the Yankees' homestand that ended Thursday.
Torre said he will continue the plan he concocted before the season of starting Damon in the outfield for ``three or four days and then giving him a day off or DH-ing him.''
The manager said he's also noticed the 33-year-old Damon, who has never been on the disabled list, hasn't always been his outgoing self off the field during his recent slog through injuries.
``You get a little older and things start cropping up on you, it gets frustrating,'' Torre said. ``You're used to your body just sort of following your lead. Someone when it doesn't happen, dealing with it for the first time is tough.
``But he's fighting through it. ... When the curtain goes up, he's still the same wacky guy. He knows how important he is to us.''
 

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