The Yankees were holding their "shares meeting," when the players who have been on the club for the entire season convene and decide how to divvy up the bonus given out by the commissioner's office to the 12 teams that finish in first and second place. Votes are taken on players who spent only a portion of the season with the club, as well as support staff like batting-practice pitchers, strength coaches and massage therapists.
Giambi, then in his second year with the team, quickly took charge of the meeting. Having been upset by his teammates' frugality the prior season, Giambi pleaded to vote full shares for the support staff, some of whom can earn as little as $30,000 for the entire season.
The appeal worked, and it established a precedent. Since 2003 -- the Yankees' disappointing finish will be no bonus this year -- the support staff received full bonuses.
But while illegal, performance-enhancing drugs will probably define Giambi's career most of all, we should make room in his legacy for his leadership in a most important department: Kindness and generosity.
Good for him. Shame that he had to fight for something that seemingly logical.