Baseball / Sports

Jason Giambi has no designs on Julio Franco's longevity

BALTIMORE -- Former Cleveland Indians player Julio Franco is attempting a comeback at age 55, joining the Fort Worth Cats of the United Baseball League last week as a player-coach.

Such longevity does not tempt Tribe designated hitter Jason Giambi, 43.

"He's unbelievable," Giambi said of Franco before Saturday's game against the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards. "It's funny, when I was younger and watching him play, he was like 48 and you're like, 'Oh, my God, it's time for him to go home.' I'm that guy now. He's a phenomenal athlete and takes care of himself. It will be interesting to see how he plays. I'll be rooting for him, no doubt about it."

Asked if he could see himself following in Franco's footsteps, Giambi said, "No, I won't be playing."

In Friday night's 8-4 loss to the Orioles, Giambi notched his first extra-base hit of the season, a three-run homer to left field in the fourth inning. Not only did he hit to the opposite field, but he also was playing in just his sixth game after two stints on the disabled list.

Giambi doesn't worry that some might be saying it's time for him to go home.

"I don't really care," he said. "I'm having a good time. As long as I can have fun and still help a ballclub, not only off the field, but on the field when I get a chance to play, I'll play. That's what's important to me.

(c)2014 Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio)

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