The Italian Stallion: Johnny Giavotella
I was fortunate enough to have great seats to the Kansas City Royals series opener against the Detroit Tigers on August fifth. I sat four rows up near the Royals dugout and was able to witness up close these rookies that the city and entire league are excited about. As I watched them warm up I noticed what looked like a 12 year old kid running around the field. I pointed him out to my son and his two buddies and told them that it looks like kids get to run the bases tonight. Come to find out, this 12 year old kid was twice that age and had just been called up from Triple A Omaha, where he batted .338. Welcome to the majors Johnny Giavotella!
At 5’8, 185 pounds, Giavotella will not intimidate many major league players, unless you ask Royals manager Ned Yost, who claims Giavotella is very ripped with his shirt off. We will save Yost’s comment for another article titled “Switch Hitting…..The Life of Ned Yost.” Giavotella did play linebacker in high school, which does show that he must have a no holding back mentality which was evident in his first weekend in the majors. The rookie second basemen started his career fearless going 5 for 11 (.455 average), hitting his first career homerun off of Detroit Tiger pitcher Matt Scherzer and also hitting two doubles in his first three games. As I witnessed his first game I noticed he brought some excitement to the 28,000 fans at Kauffman Stadium. He not only looked liked a kid, but he played like a kid, with a smile on his face and with 110% effort. I’m not for sure what was more exciting, watching him get his first hit or watching his father look like a cross between Joe Pesci and Don Rickles on an episode of “So You Think You Can Dance.” One thing is for sure, if Giavotella continues to play the game with passion, as he did the opening weekend of his professional career, there will be plenty of excitement for years to come.