In many ways, Jason Giambi is the least-marketable Yankee: He’s an admitted steroid cheat, he’s wildly overpaid, and tiger-striped lamé thongs are hard to explain to kids. So both Giambi and the Yanks must be loving today’s half-serious Daily News analysis of…his mustache. They tracked down experts (our pals at the American Mustache Institute!), included some silly quotes (“If Mr. Giambi is thinking of shaving, I would remind him that lore holds that every time a mustache is shaved off, an angel dies and falls to Earth”), and, for good measure, reminded readers that after a slow start, Giambi’s numbers have risen drastically (he’s third in OPS over the past month!). The Yankees, of course, couldn’t pray for better PR: This isn’t the Jason Giambi who testifies in front of grand juries; it’s the one who conspires with a teammate to grow lucky facial hair.
And it’s a win-win: The Yankees get to show a lighter side of their win-at-all-costs organization (a between-innings joke on the Yankee Stadium scoreboard yesterday asked fans to identify a player by his baby photo, which had a comical mustache Photoshopped onto it), and Giambi bumps up his public image, which is pretty important since, oh, by the way, he’s a free agent after this season. The only downside, as best we can tell, is the occasional unintentionally filthy lede in an article on the team’s official Website, which seems like a small price to pay for good press. —Joe DeLessio